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It seems after about 5 minutes an inactive ssh session is terminated. The server is Ubuntu. How can I change this?

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On the server, login as root and edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config and add the line:

ClientAliveInterval 60

man sshd_config:

Sets a timeout interval in seconds after which if no data has been received from the client, sshd(8) will send a message through the encrypted channel to request a response from the client. The default is 0, indicating that these messages will not be sent to the client. This option applies to protocol version 2 only.

You'll need to restart the sshd for it to come into effect.

Alternatively on the client edit /etc/ssh/ssh_config (if you have root and want it for all users) or ~/.ssh/config and add the line:

ServerAliveInterval 60

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