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How to use an SSH connection as a SOCKS proxy

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gnome-fs-ssh.pngIn this article I will describe how to use an SSH connection as a SOCKS proxy. This basically means that you can route the network traffic of any application or even your entire systems traffic through an SSH connection.
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How to login to ssh using public key authentication

First you have to create a public, private key pair. For this you can use the command-line tool sshkey-gen.

Change the directory to “~/.ssh” (create it, if it does not exist).
cd ~/.ssh

Create key pair
Now let’s create the key pair. In this example I will use RSA with 4096 Bit
ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096

Enter a passphrase if you want but you don’t have to. I recommend to enter a passphrase.

Transfer public key to ssh server
To transfer the public key to the ssh server you can use ssh-copy-id.
ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub HOST

Login with key
Now you should be able to login with the created key.
ssh USERNAME@HOST

How to manage ssh host keys

Linux saves the ssh host keys in ~/.ssh/known_hosts. You can manage these ssh host keys with the command ssh-keygen.

Examples:
Search for a specific host (in known_hosts):
ssh-keygen -F HOSTNAME

Remove a specific host:
ssh-keygen -R HOSTNAME

To add a new ssh host key you can use ssh-keyscan. This command print the ssh host key on the stdout. So we have to append this key to the known_hosts file.
Example:
ssh-keyscan -H HOSTNAME >> ~/.ssh/known_hosts