ssh from Ant

Filed under: Automation, — Tags: Ant, jsch, ssh, sshexec — Thomas Sundberg — 2012-01-16

You have to patch Ant in order to run ssh from it. It needs a ssh implementation that isn't bundled with the default distribution. If you just define a task like this:

<sshexec host="somehost"
    username="dude"
    password="yo"
    command="touch somefile"/>

Then you will get the error message below back.

BUILD FAILED
/Users/tsu/projects/linkon/fp/sabine/resources/deploy/build.xml:57: Problem: failed to create task or type sshexec
Cause: the class org.apache.tools.ant.taskdefs.optional.ssh.SSHExec was not found.
        This looks like one of Ant's optional components.
Action: Check that the appropriate optional JAR exists in
        -/usr/share/ant/lib
        -/Users/tsu/.ant/lib
        -a directory added on the command line with the -lib argument

Do not panic, this is a common problem.
The commonest cause is a missing JAR.

This is not a bug; it is a configuration problem

The solution is to download an ssh implementation and add it to your Ant installation. A valid implementation can be downloaded from JCraft. When you have downloaded and verified jsch-0.1.45.jar all you have to do is add it to your Ant installation. My installation was located at /usr/share/ant/ so I added it to /usr/share/ant/lib

I you are on a Mac, which I am, then this may not be sufficient. If you still get the error above, then take a look at a blog post I just wrote about ant being broken on Mac.

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