Hi this might be a duplicate and if so I'd really appreciate if I could get refereed to that question.

So I'm looking for some way to connect a phone to my Ubuntu 12.04 LTS server and send shell commands to it via SMS.

Can't seem to find a program that does that. Could someone recommend one?

Thanks in advance, Carl

  • 2
    There are ssh clients for android and ios. Is that what you're talking about. Please edit your question to clarify – Dan Jun 13 '14 at 20:27

There are loads of SMS gateway services. These companies charge a small amount to provide you with a HTTP method to retrieve SMS messages sent to one of their phone numbers.

The charge is small (2p a message on one I was looking at) and usually without an ongoing commitment... But this is something that can add up.

Alternatively, if you have a GSM modem and a valid SIM card, you could look at gsmsmsd. IMO the gateway is going to be more reliable but the modem might be cheaper at scale (there are many plans with unlimited messaging).

  • I believe if you have google hangouts connected to your phone, it can accept SMS's for you and are retrievable through their API – crasic Jun 14 '14 at 0:16

I actually built a ssh via sms service called smsh a while back. It's built on nodejs and has a sort of 2 factor authentication (a list of allowed phone numbers and a password prepending each command sent). It uses the twilio api behind the scenes. Configuring it is extremely easy and it's worked pretty well for me.


You can a SSH server on your Ubuntu machine and a SSH client on the phone for that. For the SSH server, you can install it with:

sudo apt-get install openssh-server

For the SSH client on the phone, ConnectBot for Android works brilliantly (particularly with 'Hacker's Keyboard' for typing |, < and stuff). There are clients for other systems, like these two mentioned for iOS.

  • 1
    Yeah I already have ssh but I want to be able to text it aswell. – Carlgo11 Jun 13 '14 at 22:54

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