How to increase SSH Connection timeout?

Hi everyone! I have an issue about SSH connection. Previously I set /etc/ssh/ssh_config as ConnectionTimeout 0 but still closes connection. So Am I missing something? How can I keep alive connection? What can I do anything else client-side? (I use Hyper.js on MacOSX) (Droplet: Ubuntu 16)

Edit: There is no timeout sFTP. While using Atom.

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Accepted Answer


/etc/ssh/ssh_config is the client-side configuration file not the server side config file.

To prevent all your clients from timing out, you need to edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config, which is the server-side configuration file, add these two options:

ClientAliveInterval 120
ClientAliveCountMax 720

The first one configures the server to send null packets to clients each 120 seconds and the second one configures the server to close the connection if the client has been inactive for 720 intervals that is 720*120 = 86400 seconds = 24 hours

I hope this helps.

Bobby Iliev
Site Moderator
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December 13, 2021

Hi all,

A bit of an off-topic but while making changes to your SSH configuration, it could be a good idea to also take a look at this tutorial here on how to secure/harden your OpenSSH service:

The tutorial covers some useful security tips that you could do simply by taking advantage of the /etc/ssh/sshd_config configuration file.

Best, Bobby

On local computer add line on file /etc/ssh/ssh_config:

ServerAliveInterval 120

this option will ping the server every 120 seconds and keep you connected indefinitely.

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