Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Remote browsing

Say your trying to access regionalised content or may be a journal a different university has access to and you happen to have a box on that remote network, how do you access websites as if you were coming from there network?

There are a few solutions:

1. Just run firefox over an X session. ssh will setup your environment variables making this straight forward. Simply do: ssh my.computer.com -X -l username (unfortunately this is usually very slow)

2. Run lynx! Because text based browsing rocks! (no, no it actually sucks ass)

3. Run a proxy on the remote workstation on a local port (such as squid). Then use ssh port forwarding to redirect the proxy to a local port for example: ssh -L 3128:localhost:3128 my.computer.com -lusername. Then reconfigure your webrowser to use a proxy at localhost port 3128. All done!

4. Use ssh remote port port forwarding to forward port 80 on a specific host to a port on your local computer. Unfortunately this means you can only browse that host (basically this sucks)

Right now those are all the solutions I know of. It would be great if you could forward all outgoing connections from a given application using ssh port forwarding, but as far as I can see... you can't. Another nice solution would be to use a simple user mode proxy server, if anyone konws of one leave a comment.