Josh Barratt's Blog

A collection of uploaded thoughts

Instantly share local directories with 2 command lines June 11, 2010

Just came across this useful trick to let anyone browse/download directories you want to share in seconds.

All you need is a Mac or Linux machine you are logged into, and ssh access to a server on the internet. It uses this trick I just saw the other day.

$ python -m SimpleHTTPServer &
$ ssh -R 8080:localhost:8000

Now someone can go to and be browsing your local directory. Rad. And you see the access that’s happening come up in your screen – SimpleHTTPServer spits it out to you.

When they’ve got what they need, just$ exit
$ fg # Brings python back, CTRL-C to exit

Sharing over, nice and securely back to normal.

If this isn’t working, the most common reason is that on the remote server, you do need the ‘GatewayPorts’ set to ‘yes’ in your server’s /etc/ssh/sshd_config for this to work. (And you’ll need to restart sshd after you make that change.)