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If you wish to activate TextMate from an ssh session you can do so by copying the rmate (ruby) script to the server you are logged into. The script will connect back to TextMate running on your Mac so you should setup an ssh tunnel (as your Mac is likely behind NAT):

ssh -R 52698:localhost:52698

This can be made permanent by adding a section to your ~/.ssh/config file

Host <host>
  RemoteForward 52698 localhost:52698

or, if using unix sockets (available with OpenSSH v6.7 and above):

ssh -R /home/user/.rmate.socket:localhost:52698



You can install rmate via gem:

gem install rmate

Updating to latest version can be done using:

gem update rmate


Installing into ~/bin can be done using these two lines:

curl -Lo ~/bin/rmate
chmod a+x ~/bin/rmate

If ~/bin is not already in your PATH then you may want to add something like this to your shell startup file (e.g. ~/.profile):

export PATH="$PATH:$HOME/bin"


rmate [options] file

Call rmate --help for a list of options. Default options can be set in /etc/rmate.rc or ~/.rmate.rc, e.g.:

host: auto                   # Prefer host from SSH_CONNECTION over localhost
port: 52698
unixsocket: ~/.rmate.socket  # Use this socket file if it exists

You can also set the RMATE_HOST, RMATE_PORT and RMATE_UNIXSOCKET environment variables.

For more info see this blog post about rmate.


  • Bash by Harald Lapp
  • Python by Steven Clukey
  • Perl by David Jack Wange Olrik