Ever since switching to OS X there has been one tiny annoyance bugging me, and it really is a small one: My SSH sessions will hang whenever my VPN times out, and then I have to close out of the Terminal to get it to disconnect, because SSH takes forever to time out for some reason.

Of course, there are a bunch of settings that you can use to change the SSH timeout so it’ll recognize that the connection is gone, but I was in the mood for instant gratification. Luckily there is an easy shortcut key sequence you can use to make SSH disconnect instantly.

Enter ~ .

That’s the Enter key, then the Tilde (~) key, followed by the period key (.), although I was able to also just use the tilde followed by period when using a drop-down terminal. In any case, it disconnects me instantly on OS X Mavericks, and that’s good enough for me.

I’m sure that I’ll be using this shortcut key sequence every day, so I won’t forget it, but maybe it’ll help somebody else. And for those that are wondering, CTRL + D just wasn’t working for me.

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Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work.
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