Disabling root login on Ubuntu 20.04 WP image: no "PermitRootLogin" line in /etc/ssh/sshd_config

I’ve set up a new server using the Wordpress Ubuntu 20.04 image.

Previously with my servers I have always disabled root login for security reasons.

To do this it seems like you need to go to /etc/ssh/sshd_config and change “PermitRootLogin” from “prohibit-password” to “no”. But this line does not exist, and adding it does not stop me logging in as root, after running systemctl restart sshd.

I use SSH and don’t log into root with a password. Is it still recommended to set up another sudo user and disable root? If so, how do I do this?

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Bobby Iliev
Site Moderator
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April 21, 2022


It sounds like that you might have been editing the /etc/ssh/ssh_config file rather than the sshd_config.

I’ve just checked on a new server and I can confirm that the PermitRootLogin option is present.

On your second question, yes having a sudo user is still recommended rather than using root directly.