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I am having this interesting problem, where I would like to start this command

nc -l 8023 | zfs receive tank3/pro1

on a remote host

If I run

ssh -n 'nohup nc -l 8023 | zfs receive tank3/pro1 &'

from inside a script, then it doesn't continue in the script, because zfs it is waiting for STDIN.


ssh -n 'nohup nc -l 8023 | zfs receive tank3/pro1 &> /dev/null < /dev/null &'

then the script continues, but redirecting STDIN destroys the zfs command.


Can screen be used to solve this?

Or other ideas?

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migrated from Feb 22 '13 at 6:09

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

You can try following example:

ssh -t root@server1 screen "tail -f /var/log/messages"

-t Force pseudo-tty allocation. This can be used to execute arbitrary screen-based programs on a remote machine, which can be very useful

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It starts tail on the remote host in screen, but doesn't give me the shell back on the local host, so my script can continue. – Sandra Feb 22 '13 at 16:53
That's because tail -f doesn't exit; it follows the file forever, until you explicitly kill it. – chepner Feb 23 '13 at 0:38

I dont have ZFS, but I made a simple script to mimic reading stdin. Seems to work for me


while read X
   echo $X

And then:

ssh localhost "nc -l 8023 | ~/sand/ &\\disown"

Or with single quotes:

ssh localhost 'nc -l 8023 | ~/sand/ &\disown'

\ separates multiple remote ssh commands, or at least seems to behave this way for me :). disown will allow you to break from a backgrounded job. I use this whenever I run a long command and realize only after I should have done it in a screen. CTRL+Z; bg; disown if you ever find yourselves in that scenario. You can logout of SSH and it will continue to run in background.

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Very interesting command! It works with your example, but not with zfs for some reason. – Sandra Feb 22 '13 at 16:54

You can indeed use screen for this, with -d -m to start in detached mode:

ssh screen -d -m 'nc -l 8023 | zfs receive tank3/pro1'
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