Tmux read-only guest session over SSH
Problem: I want to let co-workers watch me work for educational purposes, but I work best on my own laptop.
Solution: Permit them SSH access to a shared read-only tmux session.
Step 1: Create guest user login shell script
This executable will be set as the login shell for the guest user.
1 2 3
The ''-r'' argument attaches a read-only session, but at this time of writing read-only users are still able to resize the window. A patch exists to prevent this but I'm not interested.
Step 2: Create tmux sessions directory
This is where the shared tmux session will live.
$ sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/tmux-sessions $ sudo chown -R stemid:wheel /var/lib/tmux-sessions
Step 3: Create guest user account
$ sudo useradd -d /home/guest -m -s /usr/bin/guest-login guest
Step 4: Add your co-workers public SSH key to the guest account
$ sudo mkdir -p /home/guest/.ssh $ sudo vim /home/guest/.ssh/authorized_keys $ sudo chmod 0700 /home/guest/.ssh $ sudo chmod 0600 /home/guest/.ssh/authorized_keys $ sudo chown -R guest:guest /home/guest/.ssh
Step 5: Create a new tmux session
The session file created must have its permissions changed after creation.
$ tmux -S /var/lib/tmux-sessions/guest new -s guest $ chgrp guest /var/lib/tmux-sessions/guest
Step 6: Create a reverse ssh tunnel on some server you can both access
Let's say linux-web02 is a server we both have access to. So I'll create a listening port on it that leads back to my own laptop like this.
$ ssh -Rlocalhost:1502:localhost:22 linux-web02
My co-worker will connect to it like this.
$ ssh -J linux-web02 -p 1502 -l guest localhost
Step 7: Disable the guest user
Toggle the guest user like this.
$ sudo usermod -s /usr/bin/nologin guest $ sudo usermod -s /usr/bin/guest-login guest
Step 8: Bonus pointers
- Disable password login in your OpenSSH server
- Use AllowGroup ssh in your sshd config and add your own user and any other ssh guest user to the ssh group
- Then remove the guest user from the group for added security