CompaSSH: the OpenSSH VPN, without the VPN

Compassh logo

Compassh is an helper for the popular OpenSSH remote connection software, focused on providing near-VPN services without the complexity and the setup required by a real VPN.

Using a VPN software may require an ad-hoc firewall setup, the generation of a key (pair) and the installation of the VPN software on a host that is not under your control. Compassh try to solve as much of this problems with a smart use of OpenSSH.

CompaSSH exploit three of the most interesting features of OpenSSH. The first is: port forwarding. With OpenSSH you can forward local or remote ports through the SSH connection, allowing your local or remote application to securely communicate with applications on the other side of the connection.

The second wonderful feature OpenSSH has to offer is the SOCKS proxy capability: any software on your side of the connection able to use a SOCKS proxy can be routed through the SSH connection.

Third, OpenSSH is also able to use different configuration profiles based on the hostname you’re connecting to, using the Host directive in its config file.

Compassh joins those three features to provide a transparent interface to:

  • access private hosts on your network, through a publicly reachable gateway
  • easily route your connections through a remote gateway
  • export remote services on your host or local services on remote hosts

Read the setup guide or download Compassh.

Compassh is free software written in Python and provided under the GPL v2. You can download it from GitHub