Electricmonk

Ferry Boender

Programmer, DevOpper, Open Source enthusiast.

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SSH port forwarding: bind: Cannot assign requested address

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Just now I tried seting up an SSH tunnel. Something I must have done for at least a few tens of thousands of times in my career. But suddenly, it didn't work anymore:

$ ssh -L 8080:127.0.0.1:80 dev.local
bind: Cannot assign requested address

After checking that the local port was free, and the remote port had Apache listening on it, and testing some other things, I turned on verbose logging for SSH:

$ ssh -v -L 8080:127.0.0.1:80 dev.local
OpenSSH_6.6.1, OpenSSL 1.0.1f 6 Jan 2014
debug1: Local connections to LOCALHOST:8080 forwarded to remote
        address 127.0.0.1:80
debug1: Local forwarding listening on 127.0.0.1 port 8080.
debug1: channel 0: new [port listener]
debug1: Local forwarding listening on ::1 port 8080.
bind: Cannot assign requested address

 

The problem becomes obvious. It's trying to bind on an IPv6 address, not IPv4. And since IPv6 is a flaming heap of shit not production ready yet, it fails miserably. 

You can force the use of IPv4 on the commandline with the -4 switch:

$ ssh -4 -L 8080:127.0.0.1:80 dev.local
Linux dev.local 2.6.32-5-amd64 #1 SMP Mon Sep 23 22:14:43 UTC 2013 x86_64
[fboender@dev]~$

To permanently disable IPv6, edit your ~/.ssh/config and add:

$ vi ~/.ssh/config
Host *
    AddressFamily inet

That will make sure SSH never even tries anything with IPv6.

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