PilotSSH: manage your server in a few touches

I just released Pilot SSH, a server administration application for iPhone. So, why another SSH application? Aren’t there dozens of these already?

I tried a lot of those shell applications, and they felt clunky on a phone. They are fine with a tablet (even more if you use a bluetooth keyboard), but writing commands on a phone’s keyboard is not really intuitive. Moreover, the small screen of a phone is not really usable to display the command results.

But I reaaaaally wanted to manage my servers from my phone. Because I am not always in front of my computer. Because I am too lazy to get the laptop from the bag, open it, plug the 3G key or find WiFi, connect over SSH and type a command to restart a crashed web server. Because it would be awesome to be in a bar and say “hold on, I have update my server”, open my phone and do it in 3 touches.

So, here it is, Pilot SSH, in all its glory, can out of the box:

  • display running processes, the memory they use, and kill them
  • show which websites are enabled or disabled in Apache
  • display the uptime, halt or reboot the server
  • show Apache logs
Pilot SSH process list

Pilot SSH process list

But there is more! The application is completely extensible, because it uses scripts stored on the server side, in your home, in ~/.pilotssh. You can totally replace the current scripts, download more from the Github repository, and make your own! The scripts can be written in any language, as long as they return a JSON string conforming to the API.

I already got a contribution soon after the launch, with a script to flush the caches. And I have a lot of ideas for new scripts:

  • upgrade a WordPress website
  • display the status of processes managed by Monit
  • create/remove users
  • Support nginx too
  • Display more logs

This is just the beginning, and I expect a lot of impressive ideas from the users of Pilot SSH. I can’t wait to see them!

Do you want to try Pilot SSH? Everything you need is on its website!

4 thoughts on “PilotSSH: manage your server in a few touches

  1. This tool was just what I was looking for. Thanks for creating it. Do you have a road map of where you will be taking the tool into the future? For example, values as sparklines, “text” as graphs, and grouping commands by name rather than server. Also, any plans for the “PilotHTTP”?

    • There are a lot of features I could add, the hard thing is to know which one are interesting and should be prioritized. Graphs are definitely something I want to see in this app.

      What would you see in PilotHTTP? the ability to make requests to web servers and generate a specific UI from the answers, with a small script?

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