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Using A Proxy In Mac OS X With SSH

January 2, 2009
  • First off, you'll need to have a server available to use as your Socks Proxy.  If you have Mac OS X at home, you can just enable remote login, or if you use Ubuntu, just do "apt-get install openssh-server" in the command line.
  • Once done, you'll want to install SSH Tunnel Manager on Mac OS X.  You can download it here.
  • Open up SSH Tunnel Manager and click on the configuration button so you can manage your connections.
    • Enter in all the required fields for SSH authentication and click on the "Options.." button.
    • Check the "Enable SOCKS4 proxy"
    • Here is an example
    • SSH Tunnel Manager Example
    • Once all that is done, get out of the configuration window and click the play button on the connection you just made
    • The hardest part is done now.  You just need to tell Mac OS X to use it.
  • Setting up Firefox to use your Socks Proxy
    • Type "Command + ," get into the Firefox preferences
    • Click the Advanced button
    • Then select the "Network" tab
    • Select the "Manual proxy configuration:" radio button
    • In the "SOCKS Host:" section enter "localhost" and enter the port number you entered in the configuration.  Here we enter "9999" for the port number.
    • Example screenshot
    • SOCKS Firefox Configuration
    • Click okay and now everything in Firefox should be using the proxy server.  A simple way to test that it is working correctly is if your server is in a different location than where you are located.  Then you can find a website that uses geo positioning to find out where it thinks you are located.  It should think you are browsing from where your proxy server is located.  I just use speed test since my server is far away from where I am located.
  • Set Mac OS X applications to use the SOCKS proxy
    • Go into the System Preferences
    • Click the "Network" button
    • Click the "Advanced" button
    • Click the "Proxies" tab
    • Check the "SOCKS Proxy" and set the proxy settings like before with Firefox
    • Example configuration
    • Mac OS X SOCKS Configuration
    • Click "OK"
    • Click "Apply"
    • You're done