SSH with a Mancunian flair!
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README.rst

Mancify

SSH with a Manc flair! Coded by team Pynamo (@waveform80, @frimkron, @safehammad) at Hack Manchester, October 2013.

Don't have internet? Need to SSH into your server? Have your phone handy? Proud to be Mancunian? This app enables you to SSH into a server and communicate with it via SMS messaging. As an added bonus, you get to see your output in pure Mancunian dialect!

Setup

  • Install the package with python setup.py install.

  • Sign up for an SMS package with Clockwork including an inbound SMS number. You'll be given an API Key.

  • Via the Clockwork website, configure your inbound SMS number to perform a GET request to the URL to which you will bind the application with "/ssh" appended to it. For example, if you bind the application to http://www.myserver.com/mancify, then point the inbound SMS number to http://www.myserver.com/mancify/ssh. Note that the Clockwork API requires your web-server to be running on port 80 (or port 443 with a valid certificate).

  • Place your Clockwork API Key in ~/.mancify.ini like so:

    [mancify]
    clockwork_api_key=abcde12345
    

Now you are ready to run the server. The simple way of doing this is to run sudo mancify-serve -v which will run the server on port 80 (Clockwork requires this). This assumes you don't already have a web-server (like Apache) running on port 80.

If you wish to integrate the application with an existing web-server, visit http://wsgi.readthedocs.org/ for information on integrating WSGI applications with your web-server (e.g. using mod_wsgi with Apache). The WSGI application script that you want to serve is found under scripts/mancify.wsgi.

Give it a go!

Connect to an SSH server by texting the following to your inbound SMS number:

ssh username@hostname password [dialect]

Where dialect is optional and can be "manc", the Mancunian dialect (default), or "normal".

Now that you're connected, try out a command! Try texting some of the following (assuming your server recognises these commands):

  • ls
  • echo This is my house on the beach!
  • fortune

Bear in mind that this isn't like a normal SSH session. There's no pseudo-terminal so full-screen applications like vim won't function. Furthermore, because there's no pseudo-terminal there's no persistent shell attached to the session so things that rely on shell state (like the current directory) won't work as expected (try changing directory with cd and you'll find you stay put).

Testing the server

If you'd like to try this without having to set up a server on the internet, you can run a server locally. You'll be able to receive text messages but you won't be able to send them (instead you can simulate sending a text message via your web browser).

Simply run mancify-serve -v which will bind the server to localhost:8000. Now simulate sending a text message by visiting the following URL in your web browser:

http://localhost:8000/ssh?to=<inbound_sms_no>&from=<your_mobile_no>&content=<text_message>&msg_id=AB_1

Note that "msg_id" represents the message id which can be any string but must be unique with each invocation.

So to open an SSH connection to your server, use the following URL:

http://localhost:8000/ssh?to=<inbound_sms_no>&from=<your_mobile_no>&content=ssh+username@hostname+password+dialect&msg_id=AB_1

And run the "ls" command with the following URL:

http://localhost:8000/ssh?to=<inbound_sms_no>&from=<your_mobile_no>&content=ls&msg_id=AB_2

Try the translator

You might have noticed that by setting the dialect to "manc" you get pure Mancuian output! You can use the standalone translator by running mancify-translate on a file or by piping stdin.

For example:

$ cat myfile
Hello, friend! Will you come back to my house?
$ mancify-translate myfile
Arrite, pal! Wil youse kuhm bak tuh me gaff or wot?
$ echo This is really bad! | mancify-translate
This iz well pear-shaped!

Testing

To run the tests in Python 2.7+:

python -m unittest discover