ubuntu 20.04 install ssh

admin3 April 2024Last Update :

Mastering SSH Installation on Ubuntu 20.04: A Comprehensive Guide

ubuntu 20.04 install ssh

Welcome to the definitive guide on installing and configuring Secure Shell (SSH) on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, a topic of paramount importance for system administrators, developers, and IT professionals alike. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of setting up SSH—a protocol essential for secure remote access and management of Linux servers. Our journey will take us through step-by-step instructions, best practices, and expert tips to ensure that your server is both accessible and secure.

Understanding SSH and Its Importance

Before we embark on the installation process, it’s crucial to understand what SSH is and why it’s an indispensable tool in today’s digital landscape. SSH, or Secure Shell, is a cryptographic network protocol designed for secure data communication, remote command-line login, remote command execution, and other secure network services between two networked computers. It provides a secure channel over an unsecured network by using a client-server architecture, encrypting the data transmitted over the connection.

Prerequisites for Installing SSH on Ubuntu 20.04

To successfully install and configure SSH on Ubuntu 20.04, you’ll need the following:

  • A machine running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
  • Sudo privileges or access to the root user account
  • An active internet connection
  • Basic knowledge of the Linux command line interface

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing OpenSSH Server

OpenSSH is the most widely used SSH server in Linux environments. Follow these steps to install OpenSSH on your Ubuntu system:

Updating the Package Repository

Start by updating your package repository to ensure you have access to the latest software versions:

sudo apt update

Installing the OpenSSH Server Package

With the repository updated, install the OpenSSH server package by executing the following command:

sudo apt install openssh-server

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

sudo systemctl status ssh

Configuring the SSH Service

For security and customization purposes, you may want to configure the SSH service. The main configuration file for the SSH server is /etc/ssh/sshd_config. Use a text editor like nano to edit this file:

sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config

In this file, you can change settings such as the default SSH port, permit root login, and define allowed users.

Restarting the SSH Service

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

sudo systemctl restart ssh

Securing Your SSH Server

Security should be your top priority when setting up an SSH server. Here are some best practices to enhance the security of your SSH server:

  • Change the default SSH port from 22 to a non-standard port.
  • Disable root login over SSH to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Use SSH key-based authentication instead of passwords for added security.
  • Implement fail2ban to protect against brute-force attacks.
  • Regularly update your server to patch any security vulnerabilities.

Connecting to Your SSH Server

Once the SSH server is installed and configured, you can connect to it from a remote system using an SSH client. The basic syntax for connecting via SSH is:

ssh username@server_ip_address

If you’ve changed the default SSH port, use the -p flag to specify the new port:

ssh -p port_number username@server_ip_address

Troubleshooting Common SSH Issues

Even with a successful installation, you might encounter issues while using SSH. Here are some common problems and their solutions:

  • If you’re unable to connect, check if the SSH service is running and listening on the correct port.
  • Ensure that your firewall allows traffic on the SSH port.
  • Verify that your SSH keys are correctly set up and have the right permissions.

FAQ Section

How do I change the SSH port on Ubuntu 20.04?

Edit the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file and change the line Port 22 to your desired port number. Then, restart the SSH service.

Can I use SSH without a password?

Yes, by setting up SSH key-based authentication, you can securely log in without a password.

Is it safe to disable the root login over SSH?

Disabling root login over SSH is recommended for security reasons. Instead, use a regular user with sudo privileges.


Installing and securing SSH on Ubuntu 20.04 is a straightforward process that yields significant benefits for remote server management. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can ensure that your SSH server is not only functional but also fortified against potential threats. Remember to stay vigilant about security and regularly update your systems to keep them protected.


For further reading and advanced configurations, consult the official Ubuntu documentation and OpenSSH resources:

By adhering to industry standards and best practices, you can leverage the full power of SSH to manage your Ubuntu servers effectively and securely.

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