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Lifehacker a nice write up on Firefox web browsing with SOCKS proxies. The tip about network.proxy.socks_remote_dns was new to me and I will have to play with that sometime. Safari, my primary browser, seems to resolve DNS requests at the proxy by default so that saves me the hassle in the meantime.

One of the take home messages of the Lifehacker entry is that you can run “ssh -D 1080 server.remotehost.com” on your workstation, then configure Firefox (as well as most other browsers) to use a SOCKS proxy at localhost port 1080. This provides encrypted communications between your workstation and server (great when your workstation is on an untrusted wireless network) and for masquerading as the server (useful when accessing websites that are behind a firewall or that restrict access by IP address).

Very simple, extremely handy. But what if you want to use remote server that is behind a firewall and only accessible via a gateway machine?

----------------               -------------         -------------
| workstation  |               |           |         |  server   |
|              | --------------|  gateway  | ------- |           |
|(web browser) |               |           |         |  (SOCKS)  |
----------------               -------------         -------------

In that case you have to tunnel through the gateway to get to the SOCKS server running on the server. In this post I’m going to walk though building up the ssh command that will achieve such a tunnel. I will then present an alternate, more generic method.

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