On my laptop I usually have a ssh connection open and use the remote machine as a proxy server just so that all my network traffic is over ssh. I know that it's hopeless and we're all doomed, but it makes me feel a little better.

Problem is sometimes I need to set and unset it for some reason and then I have to dig through millions of dialogs to get to here...

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...so that I can uncheck that option.

Is there a faster way to do that or a way I can set up a script to turn "SOCKS Proxy" on and off? Probably something with Applescript, right?

Is there a way to do this without learning Applescript?

  • This method is really inefficient, btw. You are tunnelling TCP over TCP, and it slows things down a lot. Check SSHuttle for one solution, or use a vpn.
    – chiggsy
    Dec 1, 2012 at 13:53

2 Answers 2


Set up two locations - one with proxy one - one off - you are an Apple menu item away from the switch.

Apple Menu

Just select network, then edit the locations.



If you use Alfred, you can try a variant of this extension:

e=$(networksetup -getsocksfirewallproxy wi-fi | grep "No")

if [ -n "$e" ]; then
  echo "Turning on proxy"
  networksetup -setsocksfirewallproxystate wi-fi on
  echo "Turning off proxy"
  networksetup -setsocksfirewallproxystate wi-fi off

For more information, look up the networksetup command line function. (Note that you may need to change wi-fi above to something else -- ethernet for wired connections, or airport if you're on Snow Leopard.)

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