Auto-log commands

alias m='screen -S $$ -m script'
A quick alias I use right before logging into a server so that I have a log of the transactions as well as the ability to re-connect from another computer. Useful for when your boss says "what commands did you run again on that server?" and you had already closed the terminal ;) I wrapped it in a script now, with more features, but this is the heart of it. Never leave home without it.

1
2015-10-01 18:07:18

1 Alternatives + Submit Alt

  • A wrapper around ssh to automatically provide logging and session handling. This function runs ssh, which runs screen, which runs script. . The logs and the screen session are stored on the server. This means you can leave a session running and re-attach to it later, or from another machine. . . Requirements: * Log sessions on a remote server * Transparent - nothing extra to type * No installation - nothing to copy to the server beforehand . Features: * Function wrapper delegating to ssh - so nothing to remember - uses .ssh/config as expected - passes your command line option to ssh * Self-contained: no scripts to install on the server * Uses screen(1), so is: - detachable - re-attachable - shareable * Records session using script(1) * Configurable log file location, which may contain variables or whitespace L="$HOME" # local variable L="\$HOME" # server variable L="some space" . Limitations: * Log dir/file may not contain '~' (which would require eval on the server) . . The sessions are named by the local user connecting to the server. Therefore if you detach and re-run the same command you will reconnect to your original session. If you want to connect/share another's session simply run: USER=bob ssh root@server . The command above is stripped down to an absolute minimum. A fully expanded and annotated version is available as a Gist (git pastebin): https://gist.github.com/flatcap/3c42326abeb1197ee714 . If you want to add timing info to script, change the command to: ssh(){ L="\$HOME/logs/$(date +%F_%H:%M)-$USER";/usr/bin/ssh -t "$@" "mkdir -p \"${L%/*}\";screen -xRRS $USER script --timing=\"$L-timing\" -f \"$L\"";} Show Sample Output


    3
    ssh(){ L="\$HOME/logs/$(date +%F_%H:%M)-$USER";/usr/bin/ssh -t "$@" "mkdir -p \"${L%/*}\";screen -xRRS $USER script -f \"$L\"";}
    flatcap · 2015-10-14 13:14:29 1

What Others Think

This is an excellent idea. . The only thing I'm fond of adding to the script invocation (when I invoke it) is --timing. Because without timing you completely destroy any chance of getting useful output for interactive apps (say vim). . In fact, I'm fond of using this: #!/bin/bash N=~/.typescript.$(date +%s).$$.$RANDOM.$RANDOM exec /usr/bin/script --timing=$N.t -q -a -f $N -c "/usr/bin/env -u SHLVL /bin/bash -l" as a forced command on a certain ssh keys because that allows to auto-log of all commands with timing info. The only thing missing then are dimensions of terminal -- to get an exact replay info.
wejn · 138 weeks and 2 days ago

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Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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