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Gnome Shell Extension: Provide SSH search results in Gnome Shell overview
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SSH Search Provider Reborn

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A gnome-shell extension which searches the ssh config and known_hosts file and provides the found ssh connections in your shell overview.


This is a fork

This project is a fork of the gnome-shell-extension-sshsearch project which has been unmaintained for a while.


  • It parses ~/.ssh/config, /etc/ssh/ssh_config and /etc/ssh_config files (if they exist) and searches for host names.

  • It parses ~/.ssh/known_hosts, /etc/ssh/ssh_known_hosts and /etc/ssh_known_hosts files (if they exist) and reads all host names (to use this feature you have to set the ssh setting "HashKnownHosts" to "no").

  • You can prepend a host name with a user name as in user@host.


SSH Search Provider Reborn comes with a preference panel which can be found from the "Tweaks" application or the Gnome Shell Extensions page.

SSH Search Provider Reborn preference panel

The Arguments and Pass SSH command line as a single argument parameters are automatically filled if the picked Terminal Application is one of the following supported applications:

  • Gnome Terminal (org.gnome.Terminal.desktop, the default)

  • Guake (guake.desktop)

  • RXVT (rxvt.desktop)

  • Tilix (com.gexperts.Tilix.desktop)

  • XTerm (xterm.desktop)

If the configured Terminal Application's .desktop file cannot be found, the extension falls back to using the org.gnome.desktop.applications.terminal.exec and org.gnome.desktop.applications.terminal.exec-args dconf keys. You can set them up as described in the documentation for the extension version 3.


Assume the ~/.ssh/config file looks like:

Host desktop
User user

Host desktop1
User user

host vserver
User user
Port 2222

and the ~/.ssh/known_hosts file looks like:

[]:2222 ssh-rsa AAAAB..., ssh-rsa AAAAB..., ssh-rsa AAAAB... ssh-rsa AAAAB...

Here are some example searches and the search results:

  • search-term: desk

    1. desktop
    2. desktop1
  • search-term: rv

    1. vserver
  • search-term: 11

  • search-term: 97

  • search-term: user@ (all host names are in the search results)

    1. user@desktop
    2. user@desktop1
    3. user@vserver
    4. user@
    6. user@
    8. user@
    9. user@
  • search-term: user@des

    1. user@desktop
    2. user@desktop1


SSH Search Provider Reborn is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see [].

Download / Install

Install directly from the Gnome Shell Extensions site.

Or download the zip file from the GitHub releases page and unzip the file in the ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/ directory (you may have to create the directory).

Building from source


  • meson v0.44.0 or later.

Running the build

  • Check out: git clone

  • cd ssh-search-provider

  • Run meson: meson build

  • To install in your your gnome shell extensions' directory (~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions), run ninja: ninja -C build install

  • To build the extension zip files, run: ninja -C build, the extension will be found under build/


Version 4

April 16, 2019.

This is a complete overhaul of the extension.

New features:

  • Preference panel for configuring the preferred terminal application.

  • Supports literal IPv6 hosts.

  • Supports gnome-shell 3.28 (and potentially older versions) (GitHub Issue #3).

  • Fully handle terminal emulators other than Gnome Terminal. Sensible defaults are provided for: Gnome Terminal, Guake, RXVT, Tilix and XTerm, but any other terminal emulator can be used.

  • Also parse and monitor /etc/ssh_config and /etc/ssh/ssh_config, if they exist.

  • If the any of the ssh configuration files is a symbolic link, the link target is also monitored for changes.

  • Added debug logging (configurable in preferences).

  • Faster (sub-)search.

  • Internationalized, french translation.


  • The results now appear under the "SSH" Gnome Shell overview heading (used to be the name of the terminal emulator application).

  • ~/.ssh/known_hosts (and related) entries containing ports (eg. [localhost]:1234) are now displayed (and can be searched) by using the bracketed syntax. This allows for parsing ports in IPv6 literal addresses correctly.

  • The Terminal Emulator arguments must be fully specified for Gnome Terminal (the extension used to silently inject the --command switch, not anymore).

  • Use Subset search when applicable to speed-up searching.

  • Almost complete under-the-hood re-implementation.

Bugs fixed:

  • No more hidden dependencies on Gnome Terminal (GitHub Issue #2).

  • Don't drop/recreate settings and settings signals when the terminal emulator application is changed.

  • Ignore wildcards when parsing the ~/.ssh/config (and related) files.

  • Fix terminal emulator command line when launching an host of the form user@host:port.

  • Don't allow completing @host (no user part).

  • Don't give completions until at least one letter of the host name is entered (otherwise user@ would display all possible hosts).

  • Icons are now the same in the overview search heading and the individual search results.

  • Avoid re-parsing the files needlessly (better filtering of Gio.file.monitor_file() events).

Version 3

March 27, 2019.

  • The host names read from ~/.ssh/config are not coerced to lower-case.

Version 2

March 26, 2019.

  • ES6 / Gnome-Shell 3.32 compatibility (still compatible with 3.30 and lower).

  • Updated meson-gse to latest.

  • Minor doc updates.

Version 1

March 24, 2019.


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