native python SSHv2 protocol library
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Paramiko:Python SSH module
Copyright: Copyright (c) 2003-2009 Robey Pointer <>

paramiko 1.7.6

"Fanny" release, 1 november 2009


"paramiko" is a combination of the esperanto words for "paranoid" and "friend". it's a module for python 2.2+ that implements the SSH2 protocol for secure (encrypted and authenticated) connections to remote machines. unlike SSL (aka TLS), SSH2 protocol does not require heirarchical certificates signed by a powerful central authority. you may know SSH2 as the protocol that replaced telnet and rsh for secure access to remote shells, but the protocol also includes the ability to open arbitrary channels to remote services across the encrypted tunnel (this is how sftp works, for example).

it is written entirely in python (no C or platform-dependent code) and is released under the GNU LGPL (lesser GPL).

the package and its API is fairly well documented in the "doc/" folder that should have come with this archive.


pycrypto compiled for Win32 can be downloaded from the HashTar homepage:

you can also build it yourself using the free MinGW tools and this command line (thanks to Roger Binns for the info):

python build --compiler=mingw32 bdist_wininst

If you have setuptools, you can build and install paramiko and all its dependencies with this command (as root):

easy_install ./


i code and test this library on Linux and MacOS X. for that reason, i'm pretty sure that it works for all posix platforms, including MacOS. it should also work on Windows, though i don't test it as frequently there. if you run into Windows problems, send me a patch: portability is important to me.

python 2.2 may work, thanks to some patches from Roger Binns. things to watch out for:

you really should upgrade to python 2.3. laziness is no excuse! :)

some python distributions don't include the utf-8 string encodings, for reasons of space (misdirected as that is). if your distribution is missing encodings, you'll see an error like this:

LookupError: no codec search functions registered: can't find encoding

this means you need to copy string encodings over from a working system. (it probably only happens on embedded systems, not normal python installs.) Valeriy Pogrebitskiy says the best place to look is .../lib/python*/encodings/

Bugs & Support

there's a launchpage page for paramiko, with a bug tracker:

this is the primary place to file and browse bug reports.

there's also a low-traffic mailing list for support and discussions:


several demo scripts come with paramiko to demonstrate how to use it. probably the simplest demo of all is this:

import paramiko, base64
key = paramiko.RSAKey(data=base64.decodestring('AAA...'))
client = paramiko.SSHClient()
client.get_host_keys().add('', 'ssh-rsa', key)
client.connect('', username='strongbad', password='thecheat')
stdin, stdout, stderr = client.exec_command('ls')
for line in stdout:
    print '... ' + line.strip('\n')

...which prints out the results of executing ls on a remote server. (the host key 'AAA...' should of course be replaced by the actual base64 encoding of the host key. if you skip host key verification, the connection is not secure!)

the following example scripts (in demos/) get progressively more detailed: invoke_shell() and emulates a terminal/tty through which you can execute commands interactively on a remote server. think of it as a poor man's ssh command-line client. as, but allows you to authenticiate using a private key, attempts to use an SSH-agent if present, and uses the long form of some of the API calls. script to set up port-forwarding across an ssh transport. (requires python 2.3.) an sftp session and does a few simple file operations. ssh server that listens on port 2200 and accepts a login for 'robey' (password 'foo'), and pretends to be a BBS. meant to be a very simple demo of writing an ssh server.


the demo scripts are probably the best example of how to use this package. there is also a lot of documentation, generated with epydoc, in the doc/ folder. point your browser there. seriously, do it. mad props to epydoc, which actually motivated me to write more documentation than i ever would have before.

there are also unit tests here:

$ python ./

which will verify that most of the core components are working correctly.