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Go simply faster

As a System Administrator, I operate on clusters or groups of machines and I often need to connect to them using SSH. I then fire iTerm2 (the best replacement for the default Terminal.app), and either open as many tabs or split my screen as many times as the number of hosts I need to connect myself to. One of the recurring qualities that you’ll find to a System Administrator is that they all will spent one shot a little time to find out how to automate boring/repetitive things, and this is what I just did in order to connect myself faster than spending 3 minutes to establish a connection to all the concerned hosts.

Splitting one session

Working in a single window on different things is something I do all day long. iTerm2 just needs me to press cmd+d to split my current session vertically, or cmd+shift+d to split horizontally. What this script will do is to fire iTerm2, connect to the first server, fire cmd+d (as I rather prefer having my screen splitted vertically) and connect to a second server. You will be able to add several other divisions by repeating the steps or changing what the scripts launches to whatever you prefer.

launch "iTerm"

tell application "iTerm"
	activate

	set myterm to (make new terminal)
	tell myterm
		launch session "web servers"
		set number of columns to 200
		set number of rows to 60
		tell the last session to write text "ssh server1.domain.tld"
		tell i term application "System Events" to keystroke "d" using command down
		tell the last session to write text "ssh server2.domain.tld"
	end tell
end tell

Opening multiple tabs

Let’s do the same thing that before, but instead of splitting the screen, we’ll just fire a new tab

launch "iTerm"

tell application "iTerm"
	activate

	set myterm to (make new terminal)
	tell myterm
		launch session "web servers"
		set number of columns to 200
		set number of rows to 60
		tell the last session to write text "ssh server1.domain.tld"
		launch session "session2"
		tell the last session to write text "ssh server2.domain.tld"
	end tell
end tell

Converting the script to an application

As double-clicking on a .applescript file just launches the Applescript editor, it’s not very convenient to click on execute each time. What we need is our script to behave like a normal application. This can be achieved with Automator. This part is pretty obvious, launch Automator.app, select Application and choose Lauch Applescript. Save and you’re good to go.

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Created the 2012-01-26

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