Stupid SSH Tricks: First Installment

11Jul08

The Scenario:
You’re on a system with a much older version of NIX on it than you should be using. In the middle of doing your work, you find the certain utilities are missing, or are old enough that they have some key features missing. What do you do? Tell your boss the system sucks, and go buy a new one? Wipe the box and all the important data you’re supposed to be working on with a new installation of some free *nix? Throw up your hands and do everything manually? Give up?

The Solution:
In most cases, if you’re working on a box like this, it’s likely that your dealing with text output. That was what I was dealing with and the version of egrep was too old to parse the following:

egrep '(cn:|inetUserStatus:|mailUserStatus:)'

So what did I do? I took advantage of the newer egrep on my Linux workstation using ssh:

/opt/iplanet/server5/shared/bin/ldapsearch -D "cn=MailAdmin" -w t1ck3tsplz -b "o=child.org, o=parent.org" "uid=*" | ssh george@10.0.1.25 "egrep '(cn:|inetUserStatus:|mailUserStatus:)' -" | less

The end result is that the text stream from the old *nix box is sent via ssh to my workstation where I run the egrep using STDIO. Works like a charm! And it will work with any command that outputs text that you need to process somehow. Hope this helps someone else in a similar bind.

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