in Linux

Fun with port forwarding

I’ve been having great fun with tunneling connections through SSH lately and today it dawned on me that I could close another hole in my firewall by connecting to my Jabber server via a tunnel. In the past, when I’ve been working remotely, I’ve made changes to my firewall by connecting to my public-facing machine; from there to my desktop machine through a DMZ-pinhole and once a presence has been established within the “green zone” browsing to the routers web-interface with lynx.

I decided to try something a bit different today. I started by forwarded an arbitrary local port with PuTTY on my windows desktop at work:

Fun by proxy - PuTTY configuration

Next up was to connect from my Slackware box over to my Kubuntu desktop and use it as a SOCKS proxy, using the previously forwarded port:

steve@substance:~$ ssh -D 8100 steve@192.168.0.2

Viola, my desktop was now acting as a proxy and was accessible through a local port. I added the details of my newly created proxy into the SwitchProxy extension for Firefox thusly:

Fun by proxy - SwitchProxy

I enabled the proxy and tested it out by browsing to whatismyip.com with both browsers available to me:

Fun by proxy - different IP addresses

Happy days. From there it was perfectly effortless to access the web-interface of my router and close the client-to-server Jabber port and to skip over to my download box and queue up a DVD to entertain me this evening.

The more I use Linux and the wealth of software bundled with the majority of distributions the more I see what is left out of windows by default. Instead of thinking “which application do I need to perform this task?” it is becoming more a question of “which protocol?” I love it!

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