How to Install SSH Server on Ubuntu

The Ultimate Guide to Setting Up SSH Server on Ubuntu

Greetings, fellow tech enthusiasts! Are you ready to dive into the world of Ubuntu and learn how to install a secure and reliable SSH server? Look no further, as this comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of setting up an SSH server on your Ubuntu machine. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced user, this article will provide you with all the information you need to get started.


As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, secure remote access to servers and computers has become a necessity for many individuals and organizations. SSH (Secure Shell) is a widely used protocol that enables secure communication between devices over an unsecured network. By installing an SSH server on your Ubuntu machine, you can remotely access and manage your system with ease.

In this article, we will explore the installation process of an SSH server on Ubuntu, including the advantages and disadvantages of this setup. We will also provide a detailed explanation of each step, ensuring that you have a comprehensive understanding of the entire process.

Installation Guide: Install SSH Server Ubuntu

Step 1: Update your system

To ensure that you have the latest packages and security updates, it is essential to update your Ubuntu system. Open the terminal and enter the following command:

sudo apt updatesudo apt upgrade

Step 2: Install the OpenSSH server package

In order to set up an SSH server, we need to install the OpenSSH server package. Enter the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt install openssh-server

Step 3: Configure the SSH server

Once the installation is complete, we need to configure the SSH server to suit our requirements. The main configuration file for the SSH server is located at /etc/ssh/sshd_config. Open the file using your preferred text editor:

sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Step 4: Customize the SSH server settings

Within the SSH configuration file, you will find various settings that can be customized according to your needs. Some important settings to consider are:

Setting Description
Port The port number for SSH server communication (default: 22)
PermitRootLogin Controls whether root can log in using SSH (default: prohibit-password)
PasswordAuthentication Enables or disables password authentication (default: yes)
PubkeyAuthentication Enables or disables public key authentication (default: yes)

Feel free to modify these settings based on your specific requirements. Once you are done, save the file and exit the text editor.

Step 5: Restart the SSH server

After making changes to the SSH server configuration, it is necessary to restart the SSH service in order for the changes to take effect. Use the following command to restart the SSH server:

sudo systemctl restart ssh

Step 6: Test the SSH server

Now that the SSH server is configured, it’s time to test whether it is working properly. You can do this by attempting to connect to the SSH server from another device or by using the loopback address on your Ubuntu machine. Open the terminal on another device or a new tab and enter the following command:

ssh [username]@[server_ip_address]

Step 7: Enter your credentials

If everything is set up correctly, you should be prompted to enter the password for the specified user. Once authenticated, you will gain access to the remote Ubuntu machine through the SSH server.

Advantages and Disadvantages

While setting up an SSH server on Ubuntu offers numerous benefits, it is important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages before proceeding.

Advantages of Installing an SSH Server on Ubuntu

1. Enhanced Security: 🔒

SSH provides a secure encrypted communication channel, protecting your remote sessions from potential eavesdropping and attacks.

2. Remote Access and Administration: 💻

An SSH server allows you to access and manage your Ubuntu machine remotely, providing flexibility and convenience.

3. File Transfer Capabilities: 📁

Through SSH, you can securely transfer files between your local machine and the remote Ubuntu server.

4. Portability and Platform Independence: 🌍

SSH is natively supported on most operating systems, making it a versatile choice for remote access across different platforms.

5. Strong Authentication: 🔐

SSH supports various authentication methods, including public key and two-factor authentication, ensuring secure access to your Ubuntu machine.

6. Encrypted X11 Forwarding: 🖥️

X11 forwarding over SSH allows you to run graphical applications on your remote machine and display them on your local system securely.

7. Customizability: 🛠️

With the ability to customize the SSH server settings, you can tailor the configuration to meet your specific needs and security requirements.

Disadvantages of Installing an SSH Server on Ubuntu

1. Potential Security Risks: ⚠️

Improper configuration or weak authentication methods can leave your SSH server vulnerable to unauthorized access and attacks.

2. Resource Consumption: 💾

Running an SSH server in the background consumes system resources, which may impact performance on low-end or heavily loaded machines.

3. Complex Setup for Beginners: 🚀

Setting up an SSH server requires some technical knowledge, which might be challenging for beginners who are new to Ubuntu or command-line interfaces.

4. Network Limitations: 🌐

SSH servers require an active internet connection and may be restricted by firewalls or network policies, limiting remote accessibility.

5. Potential Misconfiguration: 🛠️

Incorrectly modifying SSH server settings could lead to unintended consequences, such as blocking access or rendering the server unreachable.

6. Continuous Maintenance: ⏱️

An SSH server needs regular updates and maintenance to ensure optimal security and compatibility with the latest Ubuntu releases.

7. User Management: 👥

Managing user accounts and access privileges on an SSH server can be time-consuming, especially in larger organizations with multiple users.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I install an SSH server on any version of Ubuntu?

A1: Yes, you can install an SSH server on any supported version of Ubuntu, including the latest LTS (Long-Term Support) release.

Q2: How can I change the default SSH port?

A2: To change the default SSH port, modify the “Port” setting in the SSH server configuration file (/etc/ssh/sshd_config).

Q3: What is the difference between SSH and Telnet?

A3: Unlike Telnet, SSH provides encryption and authentication, making it a more secure choice for remote access and administration.

Q4: Can I access my SSH server from outside my local network?

A4: Yes, you can access your SSH server from outside your local network, but you may need to configure port forwarding on your router.

Q5: Can I use SSH to transfer files between two remote servers?

A5: Yes, using the “scp” command, you can securely transfer files between two remote servers via SSH.

Q6: How can I generate SSH key pairs for authentication?

A6: You can generate SSH key pairs using the “ssh-keygen” command on your local machine.

Q7: Is it possible to disable password authentication and use only public key authentication?

A7: Yes, you can disable password authentication and enforce public key authentication by modifying the “PasswordAuthentication” and “PubkeyAuthentication” settings in the SSH server configuration file.

Q8: Can I limit SSH access to specific IP addresses?

A8: Yes, you can restrict SSH access to specific IP addresses by configuring firewall rules or using the “AllowUsers” or “AllowGroups” directives in the SSH server configuration file.

Q9: Can I use SSH to tunnel my internet traffic?

A9: Yes, SSH tunneling allows you to securely route your internet traffic through an SSH server, providing an extra layer of encryption.

Q10: How can I disable or enable the SSH server on Ubuntu?

A10: To disable or enable the SSH server on Ubuntu, you can use the following commands: “sudo systemctl stop ssh” and “sudo systemctl start ssh”, respectively.

Q11: Is it possible to log SSH sessions for auditing purposes?

A11: Yes, you can enable SSH session logging by configuring the “SyslogFacility” and “LogLevel” settings in the SSH server configuration file.

Q12: Can I use SSH to access a graphical user interface (GUI) remotely?

A12: Yes, by enabling X11 forwarding in the SSH server configuration and running an X server on your local machine, you can access GUI applications remotely.

Q13: How can I create a new user account on Ubuntu for SSH access?

A13: To create a new user account on Ubuntu, you can use the “adduser” command or the graphical user interface (GUI) tools, such as “Users and Groups”.


In conclusion, installing an SSH server on your Ubuntu machine opens up a world of opportunities for remote access and administration. With its robust security features and flexibility, SSH provides a reliable method for managing your Ubuntu server or computer from anywhere in the world.

Remember, while there are advantages to setting up an SSH server, it is crucial to consider the potential risks and implement appropriate security measures to safeguard your system.

So, what are you waiting for? Take the plunge and set up your own SSH server on Ubuntu today! Enjoy the convenience and security of remote access like never before.

Closing Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only. The authors and publishers are not liable for any damages or losses incurred as a result of following the instructions or suggestions mentioned herein. It is recommended to exercise caution and consult official documentation or seek professional advice when making changes to server configurations or security settings.