IdleTimeout patch did not get in?

Darren Tucker dtucker at
Mon Jun 25 00:13:14 EST 2007

On Sun, Jun 24, 2007 at 09:05:09AM -0400, B Wooster wrote:
> Doing a search in the list archives, I see that in 2001/2002 there was
> a patch made available for IdleTimeout keyword, for example:
> Looks like that patch did not make it in the following versions of
> OpenSSH - is there a reason why  - any chance of the patch getting
> back in?
> I do know about ClientInterval, but I think I need IdleTimeout.

I don't see why, it looks to do pretty much the same thing and you
can get the same effect by setting ClientAliveInterval to a large
value and ClientAliveCountMax to 1.

> The specific circumstance is that I've a SSH2 session from a laptop
> (PuTTY) to a OpenSSH server.
> When the laptop goes into standby or hibernates, and then is
> re-started after around 8 hours, the SSH session gets a network
> disconnect error". Since hibernate implies the client and the network
> connection is dormant, I am wondering if the IdleTimeout might help
> (maybe not?)
> If anyone has any other options that would allow an server to not
> disconnect a client even the connection is dormant - or maybe this is
> not possible? - let me know!
> Hate having to re-connect every 8 hours!

What you need to do is remove all keepalives.  The problem is that as soon
as the server generates any traffic (be that ClientAlive* or TCPKeepAlive)
then TCP guarantees that that the data will get to the other end or
the application will be notified.  Keepalives just guarantee that the
(apparent) connection failure will be detected and your connection will
be killed when the client becomes unresponsive.

Darren Tucker (dtucker at
GPG key 8FF4FA69 / D9A3 86E9 7EEE AF4B B2D4  37C9 C982 80C7 8FF4 FA69
    Good judgement comes with experience. Unfortunately, the experience
usually comes from bad judgement.

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