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How to manage SSH connections on MacOS with Termius

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I deal with a lot of remote servers, most of which I access via Secure Shell (SSH). How I manage those connections depends on the operating system I use. If I’m on Linux, most often I simply default to the command line interface and make use of SSH’s config file (where I can configure any number of connections for easy access). 

Although I can do the same thing on MacOS, I’ll often resort to a GUI app so I don’t have to remember nicknames for servers or type out the SSH command every time.

Also: How to make SSH even easier to use with config files

One such app is Termius, which has been around for some time and is easily one of the best SSH connection managers on the market.

Termius can be used for free, but the feature set is limited. To get the full power of the application, you should consider purchasing a license to unlock features such as:

  • Mobile and Desktop
  • Secure Sync
  • Tunneling Options
  • Secure Sharing
  • Self-Serviced Consolidated Billing
  • Purchase Order
  • Workspaces

The pricing for Termius is:

  • Pro – $8.33 per month
  • Team – $19.99 per month/seat
  • Enterprise – Contact for details

You can check out what features are available for each version on the Termius pricing matrix. I recommend starting out with the free version and — should you need more features — look into one of the paid plans.

With that said, let’s find out how to manage your SSH connections with this well-designed application.

How to manage SSH connections on MacOS with Termius

How to install Termius on MacOS

On MacOS, open the App Store from either Launchpad or the Dock.

The MacOS App Store.

Installing Termius from the MacOS App Store.

Image: Jack Wallen

Search for Termius. When the app appears in the App Store, click Get and then click Install.

Also: The basics of SSH usage

How to use Termius on MacOS

Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock and search for Termius. Click the Termius launcher to open the app.

From the main Termius window, type the IP address or hostname for the remote connection in the Add Your First Host block and click Create Host.

The Termius main window.

You can also import all of the hosts from your config file from this GUI.

Image: Jack Wallen

In the resulting window, you’ll need to at least add a username and a password. If your SSH connection uses a different port, make sure to add it. 

The Termius SSH config window.

Configuring an SSH connection in Termius.

Image: Jack Wallen

If your connection uses SSH key authentication, you’ll have needed to copy the id_rsa.pub file from the server to the machine hosting Termius. To import that key, click Keys and then click Generate A New Key. In the resulting pane, click Import From Key File, locate the key file you created and click Save.

The Termius SSH key authentitcation configuration pane.

Configuring SSH key authentication for a Termius connection.

Image: Jack Wallen

You should now see your remote host added to Termius. Double-click that listing and, when prompted, type the password for either the user or SSH key. Upon successful authentication, you’ll be given access to your remote server, where you can get to work.

The Termius password prompt.

Connecting to a remote server via Termius.

Image: Jack Wallen

Add as many servers as you need to Termius, making sure to give them unique names, so you don’t have to associate an IP address to a server.

And that’s all there is to managing your SSH connections with ease on MacOS.

Jack Wallen: Here’s how to…

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