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It's optional, but good to use, so process can keep running background.
Which is what I'm specifying with -f, and there are advantages to doing so. From the man page:
-f Requests ssh to go to background just before command execution.
This is useful if ssh is going to ask for passwords or
passphrases, but the user wants it in the background. This
implies -n. The recommended way to start X11 programs at a
remote site is with something like ssh -f host xterm.
If the ExitOnForwardFailure configuration option is set to
``yes'', then a client started with -f will wait for all remote
port forwards to be successfully established before placing
itself in the background.