I have run into stumbling block while attempting to create a bash script that will write packet capture files from tcpdump onto a remote server, while displaying the output of the tcpdump command so that the user of the script knows when to halt it.

The command I am currently invoking is invoked on the server that the file is stored on, and pointed at the remote device (listed here as [AN_IP]). It looks something like this:

ssh -t [USER]@[AN_IP] -R 10000: "tcpdump -s0 -ei eth1 -w - | ssh -p 10000 [USER]@ 'tee file.pcap | /usr/sbin/tcpdump -r -'

This works more or less as desired, however, I need to be able to give the user the ability to run multiple highly specific captures from a single instance of my script.

I am unable to find a good method of automating the SSH auth process, which makes backgrounding any part of this extremely difficult, if not outright impossible - So far any methods of backgrounding this command , or any variations I can come up with, seem to result in either a failure of one or both auth dialogues to present themselves, or destruction of the SSH tunnel.

Is there some way to automatically background this script after the SSH auth dialogue is successful, without breaking the tunnel or halting the capture?

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    Have you seen the ssh -f flag? – Wumpus Q. Wumbley Jun 17 '13 at 7:54
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    Have you tried using public key authentication? – scai Jun 17 '13 at 11:36
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    @UwePlonus for future reference, new users often get confused when they're told "this is a better fit for x than y", and this leads to cross-posting. Please just vote to close/migrate, and the system will take care of moving the question. – nhinkle Jun 18 '13 at 0:28

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