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I'm having an issue with a block of machines running debian 6 (ARM). When I ssh to them I'm only able to get about 3 lines of output from any command (eg 'ps -ax') before the session is locked up and must be killed.

Running 'ssh -vvv' doesn't show any errors.

EDIT: I can get single commands to execute: ssh root@server "ps -ax". If I login and try the same command the lock-up occurs.

What else should I try to see what's going on?

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Do you know the specs of the servers? ie, are they low end VPSes with 128mb of RAM or so and you're trying to run a RAM intensive service? – cutrightjm Apr 11 '14 at 21:24
servers are fanless ARM based machines. Small footprint. 1g of RAM. Not much else running. – ethrbunny Apr 11 '14 at 21:38
Is it possible to pipe the output to a text file (yeah, you'll lose the session) but then look at the text file the next time you log it? – cutrightjm Apr 12 '14 at 2:22

This doesn't sound like an ssh error, it sounds like a networking error, specifically an issue with the MTU settings. Try setting up MTU clamping or ensuring the MTU on both the client and server is less then the maximum MTU across the path.

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I wondered about MTU size so I tried this: ping -c 1 -s $((5000-28)) -M do machine-ip - came back and told me mtu=1500 which is what's set on the machine. – ethrbunny Apr 11 '14 at 23:08

Maybe ssh -v [target] at initial connection.

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Tried this: got lots of info until the lock-up. Then silence. Waited 20-30 minutes with nothing further. – ethrbunny Apr 11 '14 at 23:11
Is there a log on the server end? – Ben Lavender Apr 11 '14 at 23:47
Can't really get to it. – ethrbunny Apr 11 '14 at 23:55

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