OpenSSH is a widely used tool to access the remote servers, copy or transfer files, and perform all sorts of system administration tasks. One caution while using OpenSSH is that you can’t run the same command on multiple remote servers in one go. However, Don’t be disappointed! Meet PSSH, Parallel SSH, a simple, and useful alternative to OpenSSH that allows you to run commands on multiple servers from a single terminal. Sounds good? Read on to find more –
PSSH consists of the following commands, such as:
In this article, we will discuss on – how to install and use Pssh in real time.
The easiest way to install Pssh is to use pip. For those who don’t know already, pip is a package management system used to install and manage software packages written in Python. PSSH is supported on Python 2.4 and greater versions.
Pip is available in the default repositories of most Linux distributions. Run the following command to install python-pip in your Linux distribution.
Run the following command to install python-pip in your Linux distribution.
On Arch Linux and its derivatives:
sudo pacman -S python-pip
On RHEL, CentOS, Fedora:
sudo yum install python-pip
sudo dnf install python-pip
On Debian, Ubuntu and derivatives:
sudo apt-get install python-pip
Once you have installed pip, run the following command to install Pssh. This command is same for all Linux distributions.
sudo sudo pip install pssh
Downloading/unpacking pssh Downloading pssh-2.3.1.tar.gz Running setup.py (path:/tmp/pip_build_root/pssh/setup.py) egg_info for package pssh Installing collected packages: pssh Running setup.py install for pssh changing mode of build/scripts-2.7/pssh from 644 to 755 changing mode of build/scripts-2.7/pnuke from 644 to 755 changing mode of build/scripts-2.7/prsync from 644 to 755 changing mode of build/scripts-2.7/pslurp from 644 to 755 changing mode of build/scripts-2.7/pscp from 644 to 755 changing mode of build/scripts-2.7/pssh-askpass from 644 to 755 changing mode of /usr/local/bin/pssh-askpass to 755 changing mode of /usr/local/bin/pslurp to 755 changing mode of /usr/local/bin/pscp to 755 changing mode of /usr/local/bin/pssh to 755 changing mode of /usr/local/bin/prsync to 755 changing mode of /usr/local/bin/pnuke to 755 Successfully installed pssh Cleaning up...
Pssh has been installed on our system. Let us see some practical examples to learn how to use Pssh in real time.
Usage of Pssh is fairly easy! You need to create a host file and add your remote server’s IP address with SSH port number.
Let us now create a host file:
sudo nano hostfile.txt
You can use any name of your liking to this file. Then, add the remote server’s details one by one as shown below –
Here, 192.168.1.100 and 192.168.1.102 are the IP addresses of my remote Linux hosts. Save and close the file. It’s time to test some commands.
Let us check the uptime of both remote servers in one command. To do so, run:
pssh -h hostfile.txt -l sk -A -i "uptime"
Important note: Here, sk is the username of my remote servers. Please note that you need to have a user called sk with the same password in all remote servers. Otherwise, this command couldn’t help. So it is a must to have a common username with the same password in all your remote servers. Clear? Good.
Enter the password of the user “sk”.
Warning: do not enter your password if anyone else has superuser privileges or access to your account. Password:  17:02:08 [SUCCESS] 192.168.1.100:22 17:02:23 up 5:10, 1 user, load average: 0.24, 0.38, 0.61  17:02:08 [SUCCESS] 192.168.1.150:22 17:02:22 up 50 min, 1 user, load average: 0.00, 0.01, 0.05
The command will display the uptime of both remote servers.
Warning: You need to be very careful while using Pssh. Since it is meant to be used to run single command on multiple servers at once, one bad command will harm multiple servers simultaneously. So be very cautious while using it.
Let us check kernel version in both the servers. To do so, run:
pssh -h hostfile.txt -l sk -A -i "uname -r"
Warning: do not enter your password if anyone else has superuser privileges or access to your account. Password:  17:06:13 [SUCCESS] 192.168.1.100:22 4.8.13-1-ARCH  17:06:13 [SUCCESS] 192.168.1.150:22 3.10.0-327.22.2.el7.x86_64
Let us send a message to all remote servers.
pssh -h hostfile.txt -l sk -A echo "Welcome to Tutroialpoint!!"
Can I copy files to all my remote servers at once? Yes, of course, you can!
Let us copy a file called test.txt to all remote server with a single command.
pscp -h hostfile.txt -l sk -Av -r test.txt /tmp/
Warning: do not enter your password if anyone else has superuser privileges or access to your account. Password:  17:36:59 [SUCCESS] 192.168.1.100:22  17:37:03 [SUCCESS] 192.168.1.150:22
Now, let us go to the remote server and check the test.txt file is copied in /tmp/ directory.
Great! test.txt is there.
The same can be applied to the directories. To copy a directory, run:
pscp -h hostfile.txt -l sk -Av -r tutorialspoint/ /tmp/
For more details, refer the man pages.
The above command will copy the local directory called tutorialspoint to your remote system’s /tmp/ directory.
That’s all for now. Hope this guide helps. For more interesting updates about Linux, please keep reading our articles.