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Short snippets: SSH Port Forwarding

Victor Chan
Fullstack dev
・1 min read

How to access a database behind a firewall

Scenario: Say you have a remote linux server somewhere remote (AWS EC2 or something) and you want to access a database whose port is blocked by a firewall, you can use the SSH (Secure Shell) local port forwarding command (-L) to gain access on your localhost to that port.

This is very useful when you’re developing and don’t want to expose your database in the cloud to the outside world.

Open a terminal and use this command below:

(You may be prompted to enter the user’s password for the remote server)

#This would connect you to port 5432 on your remote server
#And allow you to access it locally on port 5432 also, like magic!

$ ssh -L localhost:5432:localhost:5432 <user>@<server_ip>
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You can even specify another port if you wish, like this:

#This would connect you to port 5432 on your remote server
#And allow you to access it locally on port 8000

$ ssh -L localhost:8000:localhost:5432 <user>@<server_ip>

#You will notice that this creates a new shell
#(You will be logged in to your remote server)
#If you don't want this to happen then you can use the -N flag

$ ssh -NL localhost:8000:localhost:5432 <user>@<server_ip>
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Further Reading:

If you want to find out more about SSH and tunnels, I recommend the two links below, there are much more things you can achieve with SSH tunneling.

SSH Tunneling
How to create SSH Tunnels

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