Is it possible to use SSH port forwarding in Windows Subsystem for Linux?

If I download the native OpenSSH package, I can forward ports:

> ssh -L 5432:localhost:5432 me@host
Welcome to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (GNU/Linux 4.6.5-x86_64-linode71 x86_64)

But if I try the same thing from within WSL bash:

$ ssh -L 5432:localhost:5432 me@host
bind: Address already in use
Welcome to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (GNU/Linux 4.6.5-x86_64-linode71 x86_64)

I am running bash as administrator (and have tried it not running as administrator as well).


Self answer: See this bug. The following works:

ssh -L me@host

The problem is that IPv6 doesn't work in WSL and the failure flows through to the IPv4 port forwarding.

  • Wish I had discovered this a few hours ago :) Apr 8 '17 at 11:18
  • 2
    In more detail: ssh -L 5432:localhost:5432 implicitly means ssh -L localhost:5432:localhost:5432. That first localhost gets looked up locally and Windows gives the IPv6 loopback address by default, so ssh tries to open a local IPv6 port 5432. IPv6 doesn't work in WSL, so opening the port fails. By explicitly giving as the local address, you force ssh to use IPv4.
    – Tom
    Apr 10 '17 at 10:15
  • Would ssh -4.... work to force IPv4? Apr 21 '18 at 16:57
  • @FelipeAlvarez - I don't know and I don't have one to hand to try it out, sorry.
    – Tom
    Apr 24 '18 at 15:12

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