[ESS] Using ssh from within emacs 22 to connect to another computer and run ess-remote

Douglas Bates bates at stat.wisc.edu
Wed Aug 27 17:23:23 CEST 2008

I have now spent several hours trying to find out how to do something
that I feel should have taken me just a few minutes and I still have
no idea how to accomplish this.

My computer at work is quarantined behind a firewall because I run
Ubuntu on it and not the approved and supported version of RHEL 5.
The only way I can connect to other computers inside the department is
through ssh and preferably with kerberos authentication.  If I want to
connect from a terminal I should run

ssh -K -Y desk00.stat.wisc.edu

Emacs 22 for Ubuntu has tramp and telnet as part of the system and the
tramp documentation tells you all about connections with ssh to edit
files on remote machines.  Similarly ESS describes using ess-remote.
However, I feel that I am missing out on something terribly obvious
because after a few hours of reading documentation and source code I
still have not found out what I can do to create an ssh connection to
another machine.

The ESS documentation lists an ftp site for an ancient elisp file
ssh.el but I can't believe that this is a) necessary and b) up to date
with current capabilities in telnet.el and tramp.el.  Is it really
true that the only way to get an ssh connection to a remote machine
from within emacs 22 is to load a 10-year old elisp file?  It is
bizarre that there is a supported telnet function and no supported ssh

I feel like a new R user who is convinced that you can do something in
R but just cannot find the necessary function to accomplish it.

Is it as simple as modifying the variable telnet-host-properties?  The
documentation seems to indicate that I could somehow define an
"element" of that variable but in that grand elisp tradition there is
absolutely no indication of how I would do that.

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