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The Secure Shell (SSH) Connection Protocol.
T. Ylonen, C. Lonvick, Ed.. January 2006.

 
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Network Working Group T. Ylonen Request for Comments: 4254 SSH Communications Security Corp Category: Standards Track C. Lonvick, Ed. Cisco Systems, Inc. January 2006 The Secure Shell (SSH) Connection Protocol Status of This Memo This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state and status of this protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited. Copyright Notice Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006). Abstract Secure Shell (SSH) is a protocol for secure remote login and other secure network services over an insecure network. This document describes the SSH Connection Protocol. It provides interactive login sessions, remote execution of commands, forwarded TCP/IP connections, and forwarded X11 connections. All of these channels are multiplexed into a single encrypted tunnel. The SSH Connection Protocol has been designed to run on top of the SSH transport layer and user authentication protocols. Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 1]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 Table of Contents 1. Introduction ....................................................2 2. Contributors ....................................................3 3. Conventions Used in This Document ...............................3 4. Global Requests .................................................4 5. Channel Mechanism ...............................................5 5.1. Opening a Channel ..........................................5 5.2. Data Transfer ..............................................7 5.3. Closing a Channel ..........................................9 5.4. Channel-Specific Requests ..................................9 6. Interactive Sessions ...........................................10 6.1. Opening a Session .........................................10 6.2. Requesting a Pseudo-Terminal ..............................11 6.3. X11 Forwarding ............................................11 6.3.1. Requesting X11 Forwarding ..........................11 6.3.2. X11 Channels .......................................12 6.4. Environment Variable Passing ..............................12 6.5. Starting a Shell or a Command .............................13 6.6. Session Data Transfer .....................................14 6.7. Window Dimension Change Message ...........................14 6.8. Local Flow Control ........................................14 6.9. Signals ...................................................15 6.10. Returning Exit Status ....................................15 7. TCP/IP Port Forwarding .........................................16 7.1. Requesting Port Forwarding ................................16 7.2. TCP/IP Forwarding Channels ................................18 8. Encoding of Terminal Modes .....................................19 9. Summary of Message Numbers .....................................21 10. IANA Considerations ...........................................21 11. Security Considerations .......................................21 12. References ....................................................22 12.1. Normative References .....................................22 12.2. Informative References ...................................22 Authors' Addresses ................................................23 Trademark Notice ..................................................23 1. Introduction The SSH Connection Protocol has been designed to run on top of the SSH transport layer and user authentication protocols ([SSH-TRANS] and [SSH-USERAUTH]). It provides interactive login sessions, remote execution of commands, forwarded TCP/IP connections, and forwarded X11 connections. The 'service name' for this protocol is "ssh-connection". Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 2]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 This document should be read only after reading the SSH architecture document [SSH-ARCH]. This document freely uses terminology and notation from the architecture document without reference or further explanation. 2. Contributors The major original contributors of this set of documents have been: Tatu Ylonen, Tero Kivinen, Timo J. Rinne, Sami Lehtinen (all of SSH Communications Security Corp), and Markku-Juhani O. Saarinen (University of Jyvaskyla). Darren Moffat was the original editor of this set of documents and also made very substantial contributions. Many people contributed to the development of this document over the years. People who should be acknowledged include Mats Andersson, Ben Harris, Bill Sommerfeld, Brent McClure, Niels Moller, Damien Miller, Derek Fawcus, Frank Cusack, Heikki Nousiainen, Jakob Schlyter, Jeff Van Dyke, Jeffrey Altman, Jeffrey Hutzelman, Jon Bright, Joseph Galbraith, Ken Hornstein, Markus Friedl, Martin Forssen, Nicolas Williams, Niels Provos, Perry Metzger, Peter Gutmann, Simon Josefsson, Simon Tatham, Wei Dai, Denis Bider, der Mouse, and Tadayoshi Kohno. Listing their names here does not mean that they endorse this document, but that they have contributed to it. 3. Conventions Used in This Document All documents related to the SSH protocols shall use the keywords "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" to describe requirements. These keywords are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119]. The keywords "PRIVATE USE", "HIERARCHICAL ALLOCATION", "FIRST COME FIRST SERVED", "EXPERT REVIEW", "SPECIFICATION REQUIRED", "IESG APPROVAL", "IETF CONSENSUS", and "STANDARDS ACTION" that appear in this document when used to describe namespace allocation are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2434]. Protocol fields and possible values to fill them are defined in this set of documents. Protocol fields will be defined in the message definitions. As an example, SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_DATA is defined as follows. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_DATA uint32 recipient channel string data Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 3]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 Throughout these documents, when the fields are referenced, they will appear within single quotes. When values to fill those fields are referenced, they will appear within double quotes. Using the above example, possible values for 'data' are "foo" and "bar". 4. Global Requests There are several kinds of requests that affect the state of the remote end globally, independent of any channels. An example is a request to start TCP/IP forwarding for a specific port. Note that both the client and server MAY send global requests at any time, and the receiver MUST respond appropriately. All such requests use the following format. byte SSH_MSG_GLOBAL_REQUEST string request name in US-ASCII only boolean want reply .... request-specific data follows The value of 'request name' follows the DNS extensibility naming convention outlined in [SSH-ARCH]. The recipient will respond to this message with SSH_MSG_REQUEST_SUCCESS or SSH_MSG_REQUEST_FAILURE if 'want reply' is TRUE. byte SSH_MSG_REQUEST_SUCCESS .... response specific data Usually, the 'response specific data' is non-existent. If the recipient does not recognize or support the request, it simply responds with SSH_MSG_REQUEST_FAILURE. byte SSH_MSG_REQUEST_FAILURE In general, the reply messages do not include request type identifiers. To make it possible for the originator of a request to identify to which request each reply refers, it is REQUIRED that replies to SSH_MSG_GLOBAL_REQUESTS MUST be sent in the same order as the corresponding request messages. For channel requests, replies that relate to the same channel MUST also be replied to in the right order. However, channel requests for distinct channels MAY be replied to out-of-order. Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 4]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 5. Channel Mechanism All terminal sessions, forwarded connections, etc., are channels. Either side may open a channel. Multiple channels are multiplexed into a single connection. Channels are identified by numbers at each end. The number referring to a channel may be different on each side. Requests to open a channel contain the sender's channel number. Any other channel- related messages contain the recipient's channel number for the channel. Channels are flow-controlled. No data may be sent to a channel until a message is received to indicate that window space is available. 5.1. Opening a Channel When either side wishes to open a new channel, it allocates a local number for the channel. It then sends the following message to the other side, and includes the local channel number and initial window size in the message. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN string channel type in US-ASCII only uint32 sender channel uint32 initial window size uint32 maximum packet size .... channel type specific data follows The 'channel type' is a name, as described in [SSH-ARCH] and [SSH-NUMBERS], with similar extension mechanisms. The 'sender channel' is a local identifier for the channel used by the sender of this message. The 'initial window size' specifies how many bytes of channel data can be sent to the sender of this message without adjusting the window. The 'maximum packet size' specifies the maximum size of an individual data packet that can be sent to the sender. For example, one might want to use smaller packets for interactive connections to get better interactive response on slow links. The remote side then decides whether it can open the channel, and responds with either SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN_CONFIRMATION or SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN_FAILURE. Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 5]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN_CONFIRMATION uint32 recipient channel uint32 sender channel uint32 initial window size uint32 maximum packet size .... channel type specific data follows The 'recipient channel' is the channel number given in the original open request, and 'sender channel' is the channel number allocated by the other side. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN_FAILURE uint32 recipient channel uint32 reason code string description in ISO-10646 UTF-8 encoding [RFC3629] string language tag [RFC3066] If the recipient of the SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN message does not support the specified 'channel type', it simply responds with SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN_FAILURE. The client MAY show the 'description' string to the user. If this is done, the client software should take the precautions discussed in [SSH-ARCH]. The SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN_FAILURE 'reason code' values are defined in the following table. Note that the values for the 'reason code' are given in decimal format for readability, but they are actually uint32 values. Symbolic name reason code ------------- ----------- SSH_OPEN_ADMINISTRATIVELY_PROHIBITED 1 SSH_OPEN_CONNECT_FAILED 2 SSH_OPEN_UNKNOWN_CHANNEL_TYPE 3 SSH_OPEN_RESOURCE_SHORTAGE 4 Requests for assignments of new SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN 'reason code' values (and associated 'description' text) in the range of 0x00000005 to 0xFDFFFFFF MUST be done through the IETF CONSENSUS method, as described in [RFC2434]. The IANA will not assign Channel Connection Failure 'reason code' values in the range of 0xFE000000 to 0xFFFFFFFF. Channel Connection Failure 'reason code' values in that range are left for PRIVATE USE, as described in [RFC2434]. While it is understood that the IANA will have no control over the range of 0xFE000000 to 0xFFFFFFFF, this range will be split in two parts and administered by the following conventions. Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 6]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 o The range of 0xFE000000 to 0xFEFFFFFF is to be used in conjunction with locally assigned channels. For example, if a channel is proposed with a 'channel type' of "example_session@example.com", but fails, then the response will contain either a 'reason code' assigned by the IANA (as listed above and in the range of 0x00000001 to 0xFDFFFFFF) or a locally assigned value in the range of 0xFE000000 to 0xFEFFFFFF. Naturally, if the server does not understand the proposed 'channel type', even if it is a locally defined 'channel type', then the 'reason code' MUST be 0x00000003, as described above, if the 'reason code' is sent. If the server does understand the 'channel type', but the channel still fails to open, then the server SHOULD respond with a locally assigned 'reason code' value consistent with the proposed, local 'channel type'. It is assumed that practitioners will first attempt to use the IANA assigned 'reason code' values and then document their locally assigned 'reason code' values. o There are no restrictions or suggestions for the range starting with 0xFF. No interoperability is expected for anything used in this range. Essentially, it is for experimentation. 5.2. Data Transfer The window size specifies how many bytes the other party can send before it must wait for the window to be adjusted. Both parties use the following message to adjust the window. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_WINDOW_ADJUST uint32 recipient channel uint32 bytes to add After receiving this message, the recipient MAY send the given number of bytes more than it was previously allowed to send; the window size is incremented. Implementations MUST correctly handle window sizes of up to 2^32 - 1 bytes. The window MUST NOT be increased above 2^32 - 1 bytes. Data transfer is done with messages of the following type. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_DATA uint32 recipient channel string data The maximum amount of data allowed is determined by the maximum packet size for the channel, and the current window size, whichever is smaller. The window size is decremented by the amount of data sent. Both parties MAY ignore all extra data sent after the allowed window is empty. Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 7]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 Implementations are expected to have some limit on the SSH transport layer packet size (any limit for received packets MUST be 32768 bytes or larger, as described in [SSH-TRANS]). The implementation of the SSH connection layer o MUST NOT advertise a maximum packet size that would result in transport packets larger than its transport layer is willing to receive. o MUST NOT generate data packets larger than its transport layer is willing to send, even if the remote end would be willing to accept very large packets. Additionally, some channels can transfer several types of data. An example of this is stderr data from interactive sessions. Such data can be passed with SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_EXTENDED_DATA messages, where a separate integer specifies the type of data. The available types and their interpretation depend on the type of channel. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_EXTENDED_DATA uint32 recipient channel uint32 data_type_code string data Data sent with these messages consumes the same window as ordinary data. Currently, only the following type is defined. Note that the value for the 'data_type_code' is given in decimal format for readability, but the values are actually uint32 values. Symbolic name data_type_code ------------- -------------- SSH_EXTENDED_DATA_STDERR 1 Extended Channel Data Transfer 'data_type_code' values MUST be assigned sequentially. Requests for assignments of new Extended Channel Data Transfer 'data_type_code' values and their associated Extended Channel Data Transfer 'data' strings, in the range of 0x00000002 to 0xFDFFFFFF, MUST be done through the IETF CONSENSUS method as described in [RFC2434]. The IANA will not assign Extended Channel Data Transfer 'data_type_code' values in the range of 0xFE000000 to 0xFFFFFFFF. Extended Channel Data Transfer 'data_type_code' values in that range are left for PRIVATE USE, as described in [RFC2434]. As is noted, the actual instructions to the IANA are in [SSH-NUMBERS]. Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 8]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 5.3. Closing a Channel When a party will no longer send more data to a channel, it SHOULD send SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_EOF. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_EOF uint32 recipient channel No explicit response is sent to this message. However, the application may send EOF to whatever is at the other end of the channel. Note that the channel remains open after this message, and more data may still be sent in the other direction. This message does not consume window space and can be sent even if no window space is available. When either party wishes to terminate the channel, it sends SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_CLOSE. Upon receiving this message, a party MUST send back an SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_CLOSE unless it has already sent this message for the channel. The channel is considered closed for a party when it has both sent and received SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_CLOSE, and the party may then reuse the channel number. A party MAY send SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_CLOSE without having sent or received SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_EOF. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_CLOSE uint32 recipient channel This message does not consume window space and can be sent even if no window space is available. It is RECOMMENDED that all data sent before this message be delivered to the actual destination, if possible. 5.4. Channel-Specific Requests Many 'channel type' values have extensions that are specific to that particular 'channel type'. An example is requesting a pty (pseudo terminal) for an interactive session. All channel-specific requests use the following format. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_REQUEST uint32 recipient channel string request type in US-ASCII characters only boolean want reply .... type-specific data follows Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 9]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 If 'want reply' is FALSE, no response will be sent to the request. Otherwise, the recipient responds with either SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_SUCCESS, SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_FAILURE, or request-specific continuation messages. If the request is not recognized or is not supported for the channel, SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_FAILURE is returned. This message does not consume window space and can be sent even if no window space is available. The values of 'request type' are local to each channel type. The client is allowed to send further messages without waiting for the response to the request. 'request type' names follow the DNS extensibility naming convention outlined in [SSH-ARCH] and [SSH-NUMBERS]. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_SUCCESS uint32 recipient channel byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_FAILURE uint32 recipient channel These messages do not consume window space and can be sent even if no window space is available. 6. Interactive Sessions A session is a remote execution of a program. The program may be a shell, an application, a system command, or some built-in subsystem. It may or may not have a tty, and may or may not involve X11 forwarding. Multiple sessions can be active simultaneously. 6.1. Opening a Session A session is started by sending the following message. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN string "session" uint32 sender channel uint32 initial window size uint32 maximum packet size Client implementations SHOULD reject any session channel open requests to make it more difficult for a corrupt server to attack the client. Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 10]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 6.2. Requesting a Pseudo-Terminal A pseudo-terminal can be allocated for the session by sending the following message. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_REQUEST uint32 recipient channel string "pty-req" boolean want_reply string TERM environment variable value (e.g., vt100) uint32 terminal width, characters (e.g., 80) uint32 terminal height, rows (e.g., 24) uint32 terminal width, pixels (e.g., 640) uint32 terminal height, pixels (e.g., 480) string encoded terminal modes The 'encoded terminal modes' are described in Section 8. Zero dimension parameters MUST be ignored. The character/row dimensions override the pixel dimensions (when nonzero). Pixel dimensions refer to the drawable area of the window. The dimension parameters are only informational. The client SHOULD ignore pty requests. 6.3. X11 Forwarding 6.3.1. Requesting X11 Forwarding X11 forwarding may be requested for a session by sending a SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_REQUEST message. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_REQUEST uint32 recipient channel string "x11-req" boolean want reply boolean single connection string x11 authentication protocol string x11 authentication cookie uint32 x11 screen number It is RECOMMENDED that the 'x11 authentication cookie' that is sent be a fake, random cookie, and that the cookie be checked and replaced by the real cookie when a connection request is received. X11 connection forwarding should stop when the session channel is closed. However, already opened forwardings should not be automatically closed when the session channel is closed. Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 11]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 If 'single connection' is TRUE, only a single connection should be forwarded. No more connections will be forwarded after the first, or after the session channel has been closed. The 'x11 authentication protocol' is the name of the X11 authentication method used, e.g., "MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1". The 'x11 authentication cookie' MUST be hexadecimal encoded. The X Protocol is documented in [SCHEIFLER]. 6.3.2. X11 Channels X11 channels are opened with a channel open request. The resulting channels are independent of the session, and closing the session channel does not close the forwarded X11 channels. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN string "x11" uint32 sender channel uint32 initial window size uint32 maximum packet size string originator address (e.g., "192.168.7.38") uint32 originator port The recipient should respond with SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN_CONFIRMATION or SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN_FAILURE. Implementations MUST reject any X11 channel open requests if they have not requested X11 forwarding. 6.4. Environment Variable Passing Environment variables may be passed to the shell/command to be started later. Uncontrolled setting of environment variables in a privileged process can be a security hazard. It is recommended that implementations either maintain a list of allowable variable names or only set environment variables after the server process has dropped sufficient privileges. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_REQUEST uint32 recipient channel string "env" boolean want reply string variable name string variable value Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 12]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 6.5. Starting a Shell or a Command Once the session has been set up, a program is started at the remote end. The program can be a shell, an application program, or a subsystem with a host-independent name. Only one of these requests can succeed per channel. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_REQUEST uint32 recipient channel string "shell" boolean want reply This message will request that the user's default shell (typically defined in /etc/passwd in UNIX systems) be started at the other end. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_REQUEST uint32 recipient channel string "exec" boolean want reply string command This message will request that the server start the execution of the given command. The 'command' string may contain a path. Normal precautions MUST be taken to prevent the execution of unauthorized commands. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_REQUEST uint32 recipient channel string "subsystem" boolean want reply string subsystem name This last form executes a predefined subsystem. It is expected that these will include a general file transfer mechanism, and possibly other features. Implementations may also allow configuring more such mechanisms. As the user's shell is usually used to execute the subsystem, it is advisable for the subsystem protocol to have a "magic cookie" at the beginning of the protocol transaction to distinguish it from arbitrary output generated by shell initialization scripts, etc. This spurious output from the shell may be filtered out either at the server or at the client. The server SHOULD NOT halt the execution of the protocol stack when starting a shell or a program. All input and output from these SHOULD be redirected to the channel or to the encrypted tunnel. It is RECOMMENDED that the reply to these messages be requested and checked. The client SHOULD ignore these messages. Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 13]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 Subsystem names follow the DNS extensibility naming convention outlined in [SSH-NUMBERS]. 6.6. Session Data Transfer Data transfer for a session is done using SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_DATA and SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_EXTENDED_DATA packets and the window mechanism. The extended data type SSH_EXTENDED_DATA_STDERR has been defined for stderr data. 6.7. Window Dimension Change Message When the window (terminal) size changes on the client side, it MAY send a message to the other side to inform it of the new dimensions. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_REQUEST uint32 recipient channel string "window-change" boolean FALSE uint32 terminal width, columns uint32 terminal height, rows uint32 terminal width, pixels uint32 terminal height, pixels A response SHOULD NOT be sent to this message. 6.8. Local Flow Control On many systems, it is possible to determine if a pseudo-terminal is using control-S/control-Q flow control. When flow control is allowed, it is often desirable to do the flow control at the client end to speed up responses to user requests. This is facilitated by the following notification. Initially, the server is responsible for flow control. (Here, again, client means the side originating the session, and server means the other side.) The message below is used by the server to inform the client when it can or cannot perform flow control (control-S/control-Q processing). If 'client can do' is TRUE, the client is allowed to do flow control using control-S and control-Q. The client MAY ignore this message. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_REQUEST uint32 recipient channel string "xon-xoff" boolean FALSE boolean client can do No response is sent to this message. Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 14]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 6.9. Signals A signal can be delivered to the remote process/service using the following message. Some systems may not implement signals, in which case they SHOULD ignore this message. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_REQUEST uint32 recipient channel string "signal" boolean FALSE string signal name (without the "SIG" prefix) 'signal name' values will be encoded as discussed in the passage describing SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_REQUEST messages using "exit-signal" in this section. 6.10. Returning Exit Status When the command running at the other end terminates, the following message can be sent to return the exit status of the command. Returning the status is RECOMMENDED. No acknowledgement is sent for this message. The channel needs to be closed with SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_CLOSE after this message. The client MAY ignore these messages. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_REQUEST uint32 recipient channel string "exit-status" boolean FALSE uint32 exit_status The remote command may also terminate violently due to a signal. Such a condition can be indicated by the following message. A zero 'exit_status' usually means that the command terminated successfully. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_REQUEST uint32 recipient channel string "exit-signal" boolean FALSE string signal name (without the "SIG" prefix) boolean core dumped string error message in ISO-10646 UTF-8 encoding string language tag [RFC3066] Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 15]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 The 'signal name' is one of the following (these are from [POSIX]). ABRT ALRM FPE HUP ILL INT KILL PIPE QUIT SEGV TERM USR1 USR2 Additional 'signal name' values MAY be sent in the format "sig-name@xyz", where "sig-name" and "xyz" may be anything a particular implementer wants (except the "@" sign). However, it is suggested that if a 'configure' script is used, any non-standard 'signal name' values it finds be encoded as "SIG@xyz.config.guess", where "SIG" is the 'signal name' without the "SIG" prefix, and "xyz" is the host type, as determined by "config.guess". The 'error message' contains an additional textual explanation of the error message. The message may consist of multiple lines separated by CRLF (Carriage Return - Line Feed) pairs. The client software MAY display this message to the user. If this is done, the client software should take the precautions discussed in [SSH-ARCH]. 7. TCP/IP Port Forwarding 7.1. Requesting Port Forwarding A party need not explicitly request forwardings from its own end to the other direction. However, if it wishes that connections to a port on the other side be forwarded to the local side, it must explicitly request this. byte SSH_MSG_GLOBAL_REQUEST string "tcpip-forward" boolean want reply string address to bind (e.g., "0.0.0.0") uint32 port number to bind Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 16]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 The 'address to bind' and 'port number to bind' specify the IP address (or domain name) and port on which connections for forwarding are to be accepted. Some strings used for 'address to bind' have special-case semantics. o "" means that connections are to be accepted on all protocol families supported by the SSH implementation. o "0.0.0.0" means to listen on all IPv4 addresses. o "::" means to listen on all IPv6 addresses. o "localhost" means to listen on all protocol families supported by the SSH implementation on loopback addresses only ([RFC3330] and [RFC3513]). o "127.0.0.1" and "::1" indicate listening on the loopback interfaces for IPv4 and IPv6, respectively. Note that the client can still filter connections based on information passed in the open request. Implementations should only allow forwarding privileged ports if the user has been authenticated as a privileged user. Client implementations SHOULD reject these messages; they are normally only sent by the client. If a client passes 0 as port number to bind and has 'want reply' as TRUE, then the server allocates the next available unprivileged port number and replies with the following message; otherwise, there is no response-specific data. byte SSH_MSG_REQUEST_SUCCESS uint32 port that was bound on the server A port forwarding can be canceled with the following message. Note that channel open requests may be received until a reply to this message is received. byte SSH_MSG_GLOBAL_REQUEST string "cancel-tcpip-forward" boolean want reply string address_to_bind (e.g., "127.0.0.1") uint32 port number to bind Client implementations SHOULD reject these messages; they are normally only sent by the client. Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 17]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 7.2. TCP/IP Forwarding Channels When a connection comes to a port for which remote forwarding has been requested, a channel is opened to forward the port to the other side. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN string "forwarded-tcpip" uint32 sender channel uint32 initial window size uint32 maximum packet size string address that was connected uint32 port that was connected string originator IP address uint32 originator port Implementations MUST reject these messages unless they have previously requested a remote TCP/IP port forwarding with the given port number. When a connection comes to a locally forwarded TCP/IP port, the following packet is sent to the other side. Note that these messages MAY also be sent for ports for which no forwarding has been explicitly requested. The receiving side must decide whether to allow the forwarding. byte SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN string "direct-tcpip" uint32 sender channel uint32 initial window size uint32 maximum packet size string host to connect uint32 port to connect string originator IP address uint32 originator port The 'host to connect' and 'port to connect' specify the TCP/IP host and port where the recipient should connect the channel. The 'host to connect' may be either a domain name or a numeric IP address. The 'originator IP address' is the numeric IP address of the machine from where the connection request originates, and the 'originator port' is the port on the host from where the connection originated. Forwarded TCP/IP channels are independent of any sessions, and closing a session channel does not in any way imply that forwarded connections should be closed. Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 18]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 Client implementations SHOULD reject direct TCP/IP open requests for security reasons. 8. Encoding of Terminal Modes All 'encoded terminal modes' (as passed in a pty request) are encoded into a byte stream. It is intended that the coding be portable across different environments. The stream consists of opcode- argument pairs wherein the opcode is a byte value. Opcodes 1 to 159 have a single uint32 argument. Opcodes 160 to 255 are not yet defined, and cause parsing to stop (they should only be used after any other data). The stream is terminated by opcode TTY_OP_END (0x00). The client SHOULD put any modes it knows about in the stream, and the server MAY ignore any modes it does not know about. This allows some degree of machine-independence, at least between systems that use a POSIX-like tty interface. The protocol can support other systems as well, but the client may need to fill reasonable values for a number of parameters so the server pty gets set to a reasonable mode (the server leaves all unspecified mode bits in their default values, and only some combinations make sense). The naming of opcode values mostly follows the POSIX terminal mode flags. The following opcode values have been defined. Note that the values given below are in decimal format for readability, but they are actually byte values. opcode mnemonic description ------ -------- ----------- 0 TTY_OP_END Indicates end of options. 1 VINTR Interrupt character; 255 if none. Similarly for the other characters. Not all of these characters are supported on all systems. 2 VQUIT The quit character (sends SIGQUIT signal on POSIX systems). 3 VERASE Erase the character to left of the cursor. 4 VKILL Kill the current input line. 5 VEOF End-of-file character (sends EOF from the terminal). 6 VEOL End-of-line character in addition to carriage return and/or linefeed. 7 VEOL2 Additional end-of-line character. 8 VSTART Continues paused output (normally control-Q). 9 VSTOP Pauses output (normally control-S). 10 VSUSP Suspends the current program. 11 VDSUSP Another suspend character. Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 19]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 12 VREPRINT Reprints the current input line. 13 VWERASE Erases a word left of cursor. 14 VLNEXT Enter the next character typed literally, even if it is a special character 15 VFLUSH Character to flush output. 16 VSWTCH Switch to a different shell layer. 17 VSTATUS Prints system status line (load, command, pid, etc). 18 VDISCARD Toggles the flushing of terminal output. 30 IGNPAR The ignore parity flag. The parameter SHOULD be 0 if this flag is FALSE, and 1 if it is TRUE. 31 PARMRK Mark parity and framing errors. 32 INPCK Enable checking of parity errors. 33 ISTRIP Strip 8th bit off characters. 34 INLCR Map NL into CR on input. 35 IGNCR Ignore CR on input. 36 ICRNL Map CR to NL on input. 37 IUCLC Translate uppercase characters to lowercase. 38 IXON Enable output flow control. 39 IXANY Any char will restart after stop. 40 IXOFF Enable input flow control. 41 IMAXBEL Ring bell on input queue full. 50 ISIG Enable signals INTR, QUIT, [D]SUSP. 51 ICANON Canonicalize input lines. 52 XCASE Enable input and output of uppercase characters by preceding their lowercase equivalents with "\". 53 ECHO Enable echoing. 54 ECHOE Visually erase chars. 55 ECHOK Kill character discards current line. 56 ECHONL Echo NL even if ECHO is off. 57 NOFLSH Don't flush after interrupt. 58 TOSTOP Stop background jobs from output. 59 IEXTEN Enable extensions. 60 ECHOCTL Echo control characters as ^(Char). 61 ECHOKE Visual erase for line kill. 62 PENDIN Retype pending input. 70 OPOST Enable output processing. 71 OLCUC Convert lowercase to uppercase. 72 ONLCR Map NL to CR-NL. 73 OCRNL Translate carriage return to newline (output). 74 ONOCR Translate newline to carriage return-newline (output). 75 ONLRET Newline performs a carriage return (output). Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 20]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 90 CS7 7 bit mode. 91 CS8 8 bit mode. 92 PARENB Parity enable. 93 PARODD Odd parity, else even. 128 TTY_OP_ISPEED Specifies the input baud rate in bits per second. 129 TTY_OP_OSPEED Specifies the output baud rate in bits per second. 9. Summary of Message Numbers The following is a summary of messages and their associated message number. SSH_MSG_GLOBAL_REQUEST 80 SSH_MSG_REQUEST_SUCCESS 81 SSH_MSG_REQUEST_FAILURE 82 SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN 90 SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN_CONFIRMATION 91 SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_OPEN_FAILURE 92 SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_WINDOW_ADJUST 93 SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_DATA 94 SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_EXTENDED_DATA 95 SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_EOF 96 SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_CLOSE 97 SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_REQUEST 98 SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_SUCCESS 99 SSH_MSG_CHANNEL_FAILURE 100 10. IANA Considerations This document is part of a set. The IANA considerations for the SSH protocol as defined in [SSH-ARCH], [SSH-TRANS], [SSH-USERAUTH], and this document, are detailed in [SSH-NUMBERS]. 11. Security Considerations This protocol is assumed to run on top of a secure, authenticated transport. User authentication and protection against network-level attacks are assumed to be provided by the underlying protocols. Full security considerations for this protocol are provided in [SSH-ARCH]. Specific to this document, it is RECOMMENDED that implementations disable all the potentially dangerous features (e.g., agent forwarding, X11 forwarding, and TCP/IP forwarding) if the host key has changed without notice or explanation. Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 21]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 12. References 12.1. Normative References [SSH-ARCH] Ylonen, T. and C. Lonvick, Ed., "The Secure Shell (SSH) Protocol Architecture", RFC 4251, January 2006. [SSH-TRANS] Ylonen, T. and C. Lonvick, Ed., "The Secure Shell (SSH) Transport Layer Protocol", RFC 4253, January 2006. [SSH-USERAUTH] Ylonen, T. and C. Lonvick, Ed., "The Secure Shell (SSH) Authentication Protocol", RFC 4252, January 2006. [SSH-NUMBERS] Lehtinen, S. and C. Lonvick, Ed., "The Secure Shell (SSH) Protocol Assigned Numbers", RFC 4250, January 2006. [RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997. [RFC2434] Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing an IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26, RFC 2434, October 1998. [RFC3066] Alvestrand, H., "Tags for the Identification of Languages", BCP 47, RFC 3066, January 2001. [RFC3629] Yergeau, F., "UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO 10646", STD 63, RFC 3629, November 2003. 12.2. Informative References [RFC3330] IANA, "Special-Use IPv4 Addresses", RFC 3330, September 2002. [RFC3513] Hinden, R. and S. Deering, "Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) Addressing Architecture", RFC 3513, April 2003. [SCHEIFLER] Scheifler, R., "X Window System : The Complete Reference to Xlib, X Protocol, Icccm, Xlfd, 3rd edition.", Digital Press ISBN 1555580882, February 1992. Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 22]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 [POSIX] ISO/IEC, 9945-1., "Information technology -- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX)-Part 1: System Application Program Interface (API) C Language", ANSI/ IEE Std 1003.1, July 1996. Authors' Addresses Tatu Ylonen SSH Communications Security Corp Valimotie 17 00380 Helsinki Finland EMail: ylo@ssh.com Chris Lonvick (editor) Cisco Systems, Inc. 12515 Research Blvd. Austin 78759 USA EMail: clonvick@cisco.com Trademark Notice "ssh" is a registered trademark in the United States and/or other countries. Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 23]
RFC 4254 SSH Connection Protocol January 2006 Full Copyright Statement Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006). This document is subject to the rights, licenses and restrictions contained in BCP 78, and except as set forth therein, the authors retain all their rights. This document and the information contained herein are provided on an "AS IS" basis and THE CONTRIBUTOR, THE ORGANIZATION HE/SHE REPRESENTS OR IS SPONSORED BY (IF ANY), THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET ENGINEERING TASK FORCE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Intellectual Property The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights that might be claimed to pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in this document or the extent to which any license under such rights might or might not be available; nor does it represent that it has made any independent effort to identify any such rights. Information on the procedures with respect to rights in RFC documents can be found in BCP 78 and BCP 79. Copies of IPR disclosures made to the IETF Secretariat and any assurances of licenses to be made available, or the result of an attempt made to obtain a general license or permission for the use of such proprietary rights by implementers or users of this specification can be obtained from the IETF on-line IPR repository at http://www.ietf.org/ipr. The IETF invites any interested party to bring to its attention any copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary rights that may cover technology that may be required to implement this standard. Please address the information to the IETF at ietf-ipr@ietf.org. Acknowledgement Funding for the RFC Editor function is provided by the IETF Administrative Support Activity (IASA). Ylonen & Lonvick Standards Track [Page 24]

   

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