SSH Access Whilst on the Move (iPhone, iPod Touch)

If  like me you maintain servers and use Secure Shell (SSH) as the primary method of connecting to them, you’ll know the importance of being able to connect to those servers, no matter where you are, to either make changes, monitor them, or fix any problems.

If you have an iPhone, you can connect to those servers whilst on the move, using a great application called TouchTerm SSH (available in the AppStore).  The application works over the data connection (Edge/3G) or WiFi. TouchTerm also works with the iPod Touch, so if you have WiFi access, you can also connect to remote SSH servers using this application.

There are two versions of TouchTerm SSH – a standard version and a pro version.  I personally have the standard version as it does everything I need it to do, but you may find the Pro version more suited to what you need (Gestures and Text Completion are just two features of many only found in the Pro version.)

TouchTerm has some clever and well thought out features, such as the transparent keyboard which maximises the small screen usage – there’s not much space on the iPhone screen for a full console and keyboard, but with the keyboard being transparent, it’s pretty easy to use and still see what’s going on behind it. There’s also a very useful toolbar, which allows you to send important modifer keys allowing access to features such as “Ctrl-A (then c)” to detach a screen session.  The keys on the toolbar are: Ctrl, Alt, Tab, Esc, Ret, ^C (for quick Ctrl-C access!).

I’ve tested it with my servers, and it’s certainly very usable for quick admin tasks, when I’m not at a computer.  I’ve even found myself having a quick tail -f of apache logs whilst walking around the house to see if any traffic is hitting a site!

So, if you look after a box (or many boxen) with SSH access, and have an iPhone/iPod Touch, give TouchTerm a go – I think you’ll be suprised at how useful the application is.

Visit the TouchTerm SSH site for more information: