install ssh ubuntu 20.04

admin3 April 2024Last Update :

Mastering SSH Installation on Ubuntu 20.04: A Comprehensive Guide

install ssh ubuntu 20.04

Welcome to the definitive guide on installing and configuring Secure Shell (SSH) on Ubuntu 20.04. Whether you’re a seasoned system administrator or a curious tech enthusiast, this article will provide you with the knowledge and tools to securely manage your servers remotely. SSH is an indispensable protocol for secure communication over unsecured networks, and mastering its setup is a valuable skill in today’s interconnected world.

Understanding SSH and Its Importance

Before diving into the installation process, it’s crucial to understand what SSH is and why it’s so important. SSH, or Secure Shell, is a network protocol that provides administrators with a secure way to access a remote computer. It is widely used by system administrators for managing systems and applications remotely, allowing them to log into another computer over a network, execute commands in a remote machine, and move files from one machine to another.

SSH encrypts the session, making the connection secure from eavesdropping, connection hijacking, and other attacks. Additionally, it provides mechanisms for authenticating users, transferring inputs from the client to the host, and relaying the output back to the client.

Prerequisites for Installing SSH on Ubuntu 20.04

  • A server running Ubuntu 20.04
  • A user account with sudo privileges
  • Access to a terminal/command line
  • An internet connection

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing OpenSSH Server

Ubuntu 20.04 comes with the option to install the OpenSSH server package, which allows you to quickly set up an SSH server on your system. Here’s how you can do it:

Updating Your System

First, ensure that all your system packages are up-to-date by running the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Installing OpenSSH Server

With your system updated, you can now install the OpenSSH Server package using the following command:

sudo apt install openssh-server

Once the installation is complete, the SSH service will start automatically. You can verify that the service is running with:

sudo systemctl status ssh

Configuring SSH

To enhance security, you may want to configure the SSH daemon settings located in /etc/ssh/sshd_config. Some common configurations include changing the default port, disabling root login, and limiting user access.

Adjusting the Firewall Settings

If you have UFW (Uncomplicated Firewall) enabled, you’ll need to allow SSH connections through the firewall:

sudo ufw allow ssh

This command configures UFW to allow incoming SSH connections on the default port 22.

Connecting to Your SSH Server

From a remote machine, you can connect to your SSH server using the following command:

ssh username@your_server_ip

You’ll be prompted to accept the server’s public key if it’s your first time connecting, and then you’ll enter your password to authenticate.

Enhancing Security for SSH

After setting up SSH, it’s essential to secure your SSH server to prevent unauthorized access. Here are some best practices:

  • Change the default SSH port from 22 to a non-standard port.
  • Disable root login over SSH.
  • Use SSH key-based authentication instead of passwords.
  • Implement two-factor authentication for SSH.
  • Use fail2ban to protect against brute-force attacks.

Troubleshooting Common SSH Issues

Even with a successful installation, you might encounter issues while using SSH. Here are some tips for troubleshooting common problems:

  • Ensure the SSH service is running on the server.
  • Check your firewall settings to confirm SSH traffic is allowed.
  • Verify that your SSH keys are correctly configured and have the right permissions.
  • Look at the SSH daemon logs for any error messages.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I restart the SSH service?

To restart the SSH service, use the following command:

sudo systemctl restart ssh

Can I change the SSH port for added security?

Yes, you can change the default SSH port by editing the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file and modifying the Port directive.

What should I do if I’m locked out of my server after configuring SSH?

If you’re locked out, you may need to access your server through a console provided by your hosting provider. Once logged in, revert any changes that caused the issue.

Is it safe to disable password authentication for SSH?

If you’ve set up SSH key-based authentication, it is generally safe and recommended to disable password authentication to prevent brute-force attacks.


Installing and securing SSH on Ubuntu 20.04 is a straightforward process that offers significant benefits for remote server management. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your SSH server is both accessible and secure. Remember to keep your server updated and regularly review your SSH configuration to maintain optimal security practices.


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