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Bash SSH host auto completion

February 21, 2019

By default the ssh command does not support auto completion for host names. However, it stores all hosts you have accessed in the ~/.ssh/known_hosts file. We can take this data and use it for an auto completion function.

Create the following file in your home folder (yes, I know, another secret file):


_complete_ssh_hosts ()
    comp_ssh_hosts=`cat ~/.ssh/known_hosts | \
                    cut -f 1 -d ' ' | \
                    sed -e s/,.*//g | \
                    grep -v ^# | \
                    uniq | \
                    grep -v "\[" ;
            cat ~/.ssh/config | \
                    grep "^Host " | \
                    awk '{print $2}'
    COMPREPLY=( $(compgen -W "${comp_ssh_hosts}" -- $cur))
    return 0
complete -F _complete_ssh_hosts ssh

Then make it executable:

chmod +x ~/.ssh-completion.bash

And source the file in your bash profile.

test -f ~/.ssh-completion.bash && . $_

Restart bash and you should get auto completion for the ssh command.

Note: This will not work for Ubuntu as it hashes everything in the known_hosts file.

Categories:  System tooling

Tags:  ssh , bash

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