how to install ssh on centos 7

admin3 April 2024Last Update :

Mastering Secure Shell: Installing SSH on CentOS 7

how to install ssh on centos 7

Welcome to the comprehensive guide on installing Secure Shell (SSH) on CentOS 7. As a senior technical content writer, I understand the importance of secure communication in today’s digital world. SSH is an essential protocol for administrators and developers alike, providing a secure channel over an unsecured network. This article will delve into the intricacies of setting up SSH on your CentOS 7 system, ensuring that you can manage your servers with both security and ease.

Understanding SSH and Its Importance

Before we embark on the installation journey, let’s understand what SSH is and why it’s crucial for your server’s security. SSH, or Secure Shell, is a cryptographic network protocol used for operating network services securely over an unsecured network. It provides a secure channel over which you can execute commands, manage files, and perform other administrative tasks remotely.

Prerequisites for Installing SSH on CentOS 7

To ensure a smooth installation process, make sure you have:

  • A machine running CentOS 7
  • Root or sudo privileges
  • Access to a terminal or command line
  • An active internet connection

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing SSH on CentOS 7

Updating Your System

First and foremost, update your system to ensure all existing packages are up to date. Open your terminal and run the following command:

yum update -y

Installing the OpenSSH Server Package

With your system updated, you can now install the OpenSSH server package using the YUM package manager:

yum install -y openssh-server

This command installs the OpenSSH server, which includes the sshd service responsible for listening to incoming connections.

Starting and Enabling the SSH Service

After installation, start the SSH service with the following command:

systemctl start sshd

To ensure SSH starts automatically upon system boot, enable it using:

systemctl enable sshd

Configuring the Firewall for SSH Access

CentOS 7 comes with firewalld by default. You’ll need to configure it to allow SSH traffic:

firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=ssh
firewall-cmd --reload

This ensures that the firewall allows connections on port 22, the default SSH port.

Securing SSH Configuration

Security is paramount when setting up SSH. Edit the SSH configuration file to apply security best practices:

nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Consider making the following changes:

  • Changing the default SSH port
  • Disabling root login
  • Allowing only specific users to connect

After making changes, restart the SSH service to apply them:

systemctl restart sshd

Connecting to Your CentOS 7 Server via SSH

With SSH installed and configured, you can now connect from a remote machine using the following command:

ssh user@your_centos_server_ip

Replace “user” with your username and “your_centos_server_ip” with your server’s IP address.

FAQ Section

How do I change the default SSH port?

Edit the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file and modify the line that says #Port 22 to your desired port number. Remember to update your firewall settings accordingly.

Can I disable password authentication for SSH?

Yes, you can disable password authentication by setting PasswordAuthentication no in the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file. Ensure you have set up key-based authentication before doing so.

Is it safe to allow root login over SSH?

It is generally recommended to disable root login over SSH for security reasons. Use sudo privileges for administrative tasks instead.


Installing SSH on CentOS 7 is a straightforward process that significantly enhances the security of your server management tasks. By following this guide, you’ve not only installed SSH but also taken steps to secure your SSH configuration. With these measures in place, you can confidently manage your CentOS 7 servers remotely, knowing that your connections are encrypted and protected against unauthorized access.


Note: The examples provided in this article are based on CentOS 7, which may differ from other systems. Always consult official documentation for your specific operating system version.

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