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RSH(1) FreeBSD General Commands Manual RSH(1)

remote shell

rsh [
] [
-l username
] [
-t timeout
] host [

rsh is deprecated and will be removed from future versions of the FreeBSD base system. If rsh is still required, it can be installed from ports or packages (net/bsdrcmds).

The rsh utility executes command on host.
The rsh utility copies its standard input to the remote command, the standard output of the remote command to its standard output, and the standard error of the remote command to its standard error. Interrupt, quit and terminate signals are propagated to the remote command; rsh normally terminates when the remote command does. The options are as follows:
Use IPv4 addresses only.
Use IPv6 addresses only.
Turn on socket debugging (using setsockopt(2)) on the TCP sockets used for communication with the remote host.
Allow the remote username to be specified. By default, the remote username is the same as the local username. Authorization is determined as in rlogin(1).
Opposite to -n option: do not send the "end of file" (EOF) indication for input stream to the remote host. This option makes the rsh utility compatible with protocol implementations confused by receiving EOF, like some Cisco IOS versions. Disables -n.
Redirect input from the special device /dev/null (see the BUGS section of this manual page). Disables -N.
Allow a timeout to be specified (in seconds). If no data is sent or received in this time, rsh will exit.
If no command is specified, you will be logged in on the remote host using rlogin(1).
Shell metacharacters which are not quoted are interpreted on local machine, while quoted metacharacters are interpreted on the remote machine. For example, the command
rsh otherhost cat remotefile >> localfile
appends the remote file remotefile to the local file localfile, while
rsh otherhost cat remotefile ">>" other_remotefile
appends remotefile to other_remotefile.


rlogin(1), setsockopt(2), rcmd(3), ruserok(3), hosts(5), hosts.equiv(5), rlogind(8), rshd(8)

The rsh command appeared in 4.2BSD.

If you are using csh(1) and put a rsh in the background without redirecting its input away from the terminal, it will block even if no reads are posted by the remote command. If no input is desired you should redirect the input of rsh to /dev/null using the -n option.
You cannot run an interactive command (like ee(1) or vi(1)) using rsh; use rlogin(1) instead.
Stop signals stop the local rsh process only; this is arguably wrong, but currently hard to fix for reasons too complicated to explain here.
July 3, 2017 FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE

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