[R] SSH Through R Script

Don MacQueen macq at llnl.gov
Fri Apr 9 17:26:01 CEST 2010

When I do what you're describing, I get prompted for my password:

    >  system('ssh -l  usernm rmthost')
    usernm at rmthost's password:

After I enter my password, nothing seems to happen. But if I hit 
ctrl-c then I get a command line prompt, and it turns out that it's a 
shell prompt on the remote host. I can issue standard unix commands, 
and they execute on the remote host. To get back into R on my local 
host I type 'exit'.


Here's a couple of lines from one of my scripts that might help ...

     cmd <- 'ssh -l username remotehost /bin/lpstat -a'
     lprs <- read.table(pipe(cmd),fill=TRUE,as.is=TRUE)[,1]

I get prompted for my password when I source these lines on my local host.

With the result that the lprs object has the names of printers 
available on the remote host.


At 10:01 PM -0800 4/8/10, afoo wrote:
>I am trying to SSH to a remote server through R script. In other words, I
>would like to know how I can get a SSH connection to the remote server and
>then execute commands on that server with the R script.
>So in bash, I would normally type ssh -lusername remoteserver.com; press
>enter and then wait for the password prompt to key in my password.
>I have tried system("ssh remoteserver.com") but that doesn't work because,
>from what I know, SSH requires user interactivity - I am required to key in
>my password.
>I tried looking up about putting password as a command line parameter, but
>SSH doesn't allow that, my only option then is to set up a private/public
>key pair. But the admin of the remoteserver doesn't allow me to do that.
>Is there a way in which I can SSH in? Or is there a command in R that allows
>me to interact with the command prompts interactively?
>View this message in context: 
>Sent from the R help mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>R-help at r-project.org mailing list
>PLEASE do read the posting guide http://*www.*R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

Don MacQueen
Environmental Protection Department
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore, CA, USA

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