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Well, referring back to this question, I am running the command

ssh -R 8080:localhost:80 -N

on a Mac. Yet the port that is being tunneled is not working publicly. I am running such a command to make it so that the local port can be opened on the remote computer. And it does work when opening the port on localhost on the remote computer, but when I try to access the public IP address of the remote computer from my local computer the port doesn’t seem to be open. How would I make the tunnel public on the IP for anyone to access?

EDIT: It seems as if the remote side binds only on localhost instead of to all interfaces.

EDIT 2: The client is Mac OS X 10.6 and the server is Linux Mint, but they’re both OpenSSH.

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What does public IP mean? If you are trying to connect to a local computer thru the router and via the Internet, most routers will not allow such loopback. – harrymc Apr 30 '13 at 5:53
up vote 120 down vote accepted

If you check the man page for ssh, you'll find that the syntax for -R reads:

-R [bind_address:]port:host:hostport

When bind_address is omitted (as in your example), the port is bound on the loopback interface only. In order to make it bind to all interfaces, use

ssh -R \*:8080:localhost:80 -N


ssh -R -N


ssh -R "[::]:8080:localhost:80" -N

The first version binds to all interfaces individually. The second version creates a general IPv4-only bind, which means that the port is accessible on all interfaces via IPv4. The third version is probably technically equivalent to the first, but again it creates only a single bind to ::, which means that the port is accessible via IPv6 natively and via IPv4 through IPv4-mapped IPv6 addresses (doesn't work on Windows, OpenBSD).  (You need the quotes because [::] could be interpreted as a glob otherwise.)

Note that if you use OpenSSH sshd server, the server's GatewayPorts option needs to be enabled (set to yes or clientspecified) for this to work (check file /etc/ssh/sshd_config on the server). Otherwise (default value for this option is no), the server will always force the port to be bound on the loopback interface only.

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OH MY GOD IT WORKED!!!!! I have done exactly that 1 million times!! I just forgot that * in bash will give files and i needed \* – Trevor Rudolph May 6 '13 at 7:08
I feel so dumb right now! But thank you! – Trevor Rudolph May 6 '13 at 7:09
Yeah, that's exactly why I always prefer - it's IPv4 only, but it'll do most of the time :) – Stefan Seidel May 6 '13 at 7:51
fe80::1 hahaha – Trevor Rudolph May 6 '13 at 7:54
jk :D yea but is good, but can you use or is that too local and nonbinding – Trevor Rudolph May 6 '13 at 7:55


-g works for local forwarded ports, but what you want is a reverse/remote forwarded port, which is different.

What you want is this.

Essentially, on, set GatewayPorts=clientspecified in /etc/ssh/sshd_config.

--- previous (incorrect) answer ---

Use the -g option. From ssh's man page:

-g     Allows remote hosts to connect to local forwarded ports.
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doesn't seem to be working... it starts up but i cant connect remotely – Trevor Rudolph Apr 28 '13 at 6:21
Try running netstat -elnpt from a separate tty to figure out what ports are bound to what address. Without -g, a port should be bound to With -g, it should be bound to, which makes it accessible remotely. – snapshoe Apr 28 '13 at 14:58 – Trevor Rudolph Apr 28 '13 at 16:11
GatewayPorts=clientspecified or GatewayPorts clientspecified – Trevor Rudolph Apr 29 '13 at 0:01
and do i add that to the client or remote? – Trevor Rudolph Apr 29 '13 at 0:04

Here's my answer for completion:

I ended up using ssh -R ... for tunneling, and using socat on top of that for redirecting network traffic to

tunnel binded to ssh -R mitm:9999:<my.ip>:8084 me@mitm

socat: mitm$ socat TCP-LISTEN:9090,fork TCP:

Other option is to do a local-only tunnel on top of that, but i find this much slower

mitm$ ssh -L<mitm.ip.address>:9090:localhost:9999 localhost

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I like the fact that I don't have to deal with the sshd configuration and that I can do all of it without sudo. Plus I learn that socat exists. Thanks! – BrutusCat Jun 12 '14 at 14:00

Use the "gateway ports" option.


In order to use that, you probably need to add "GatewayPorts yes" to your server's /etc/ssh/sshd_config.

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