SSSSH! Hell Has Frozen…

SSH is a great technology. It has been for years.“the PowerShell team realized the best option will be for our team to adopt an industry proven solution while providing tight integration with Windows; a solution that Microsoft will deliver in Windows while working closely with subject matter experts across the planet to build it. Based on these goals, I’m pleased to announce that the PowerShell team will support and contribute to the OpenSSH community”
See Looking Forward: Microsoft Support for Secure Shell (SSH)
It was one of the first tools I used on GNU/Linux when I became a computer-teacher and had 30 client machines and a server in one room. SSH allowed me to treat all those machines as one. Beautiful idea. Chuckle, I do remember getting lost once and shutting down the wrong machine. Virtual reality can be really confusing especially to a newbie as I was. Since then I’ve SSHed into hundreds of machines or connected their file-systems or sent them commands. SSH is a force-multiplier.

Well, imagine my surprise when I read that M$ was going to adopt this technology after so many years of war against FLOSS and GNU/Linux. I think Wintel is too weak to continue to use “embrace, extend, extinguish” these days, so this is M$ accepting the reality that M$ is not the one true road to IT. It’s about time. Imagine how the world of IT would have advanced back in the 1990s if, along with or instead of NT, M$ had properly embraced FLOSS and GNU/Linux. As late as 2008, I tried to install OpenSSH on dual-booting clients. To get it on That Other OS, I had to install Cygwin which was a royal pain… Oh, well, that’s water under the bridge. The future is much brighter than those Dark Ages.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
This entry was posted in Linux in Education, Teaching, technology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to SSSSH! Hell Has Frozen…

  1. Agent_Smith says:

    Oh, Robert, c’mon… Advertising SSH in winblow$ as if it were a victory ? I could care less for what happens in their side, and what RAM wrote is true. I feel uncomfortable with whatever MS touches. And sadly, they have seats in WC3…

  2. ram says:

    Modular Sunfish said:

    1. embrace
    2. extend <– you are here
    3. extinguish

    It remains to be seen how much damage M$ will cause to the main project and how far their planned alternative will deviate from the protocol and standard functions.

    That statement hits the nail on the head. There are already signs the OpenSSH project is defacto forking — or even fragmenting. One reason is OpenSSH depends on SSL, but now there are several mutually incompatible versions of SSL. SSH, of course, has long had its own somewhat incompatible branches: OpenSSH, Dropbear, and the range of proprietary products from SSH Communications Security (a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ OMX as SSH1V, rumored to be controlled by the NSA).

    You can bet your bottom dollar that Microsoft will make their "SSH" inherently either insecure and/or incompatible.

  3. oiaohm says:

    Robert Pogson after using puppet and chef I have to disagree a lot with using ssh. There is a big issue with over using ssh instead of using some form of configuration management.

    With Puppet.
    Agent/Master setup in a local lan with puppet is great as when machines get started up they will check if their configuration is correct. The difference here is with ssh you are pushing from the control machine to the target machine but with puppet in Agent/Master its the Agent connecting the the control machine. Yes case that you have killed the openssh server or anything else nasty puppet can come to the rescue.

    Yes puppet setup Agent/Master in a lan reduces the chance of Opps I missed 1 machine. Having machines check in to get how they should be configured is simpler than having to chase them down. Reports of them not checking in can also show unreported issues.

    Stand Alone what is Puppet Apply you can use rsync, email… any method to get complex configuration instructions to the machine.

    Of course the same applies to using chef and other good configuration management solutions.

    disrupted connections includes people deciding to turn off a machine while you are trying to configure stuff. Server client model in a LAN of configuration management means the settings you want deployed will be without the effort of fighting with users.

  4. oiaohm wrote, “items like chef and puppet cope better over disrupted connections”.

    That may be true and they may be better for huge numbers of machines but SSH is so flexible there’s always a way to get the job done. For instance, for updating, it’s easy to send the command periodically so it gets through when it gets through. This isn’t an issue on my LAN. I use copper mostly and I have only a few machines. A feature of SSH that I use occasionally is forwarding X so I can run my normal session with my normal tools on Beast even while sitting in my easy chair in the living room. That’s performance… Over the years SSH has saved me kilometres of walking around various schools getting stuff done.

  5. oiaohm says:

    Modular Sunfish I kinda agree and kinda not.
    The SSH is kinda that this plan one has gone south so now for powershell to control Linux without fully running on Linux there is no option bar to start supporting the Linux normal control methods. No major distribution has any interest in picking up powershell dsc.

    Next is to remember NT 3.5 had telnet(yes total insecure) to login to configure the system.

    We are somewhere between embrace/extend/we have no choice. Extend plans are not working to well.

    Also you know something is going wrong for Microsoft plans with posts like this.

    Yes chef and puppet are direct competitors to powershell and Microsoft other system management solution in a lot of ways. Even better chef and puppet are supported by Linux Distributions.

    “SSH is a force-multiplier” True but items like chef and puppet cope better over disrupted connections.

    The big reason why SSH is when you are paying for traffic to and from a cloud provider the smaller the better. Windows Server graphical management by RDP too bandwidth heavy so too costly. This is the no choice factor.

    Now lets see how much of SSH Microsoft ends up supporting. SSHFS if supported would be interesting.

  6. Modular Sunfish says:

    1. embrace
    2. extend <– you are here
    3. extinguish

    It remains to be seen how much damage M$ will cause to the main project and how far their planned alternative will deviate from the protocol and standard functions.

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