OS-X as Platform for AWS Solution Development

Having launched into a set of AWS solution design exercises, I was pleased that OS-X provides much of the useful underpinnings you would want on a workstation dedicated to development of AWS Unix (Linux) -based solutions.

Of the various minor wrinkles so far, key for me was accessing my AMI EC2 instances via ssh using password authentication (vs. creating an managing a ton of key pairs for a bunch of fictitious users) which is yes not normally a ‘best practice. But i was testing with a bunch of pretend users, and afraid of jumbling up all the key-pair files…  Which led to these issues:

  • reconfiguring ssh on the AMI image to support password access via ssh (see here). Short answer is: edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config and set PasswordAuthentication to yes.
  • ssh with password authentication (out-bound) is not supported on the OS-X, and the popular sshpass command is not officially included in supported packages that my chosen package manager (brew) supports.  The source of this problem (doctrinaire distaste for storing passwords in scripts, which is understandable to a point) is mildly annoying but the fix (at least for now) is easy.  Solution is here.

In case that link disappears, the short answer is:

brew install https://raw.github.com/eugeneoden/homebrew/eca9de1/Library/Formula/sshpass.rb

Which, as of OS-X 10.9.1, still works.  Hopefully, when this breaks in the future, I will find this blog post and remember what and why I did this.

I am not yet too far down this path; luckily this is something many people are doing, and I am consistently finding solutions from a month or two ago now that OS-X 10.9.1 has been out a bit.

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