Question

PermitRootLogin no still allows root login via SSH

Posted April 1, 2019 8.4k views
Initial Server SetupUbuntu 18.04

I have updated PermitRootLogin in /etc/ssh/sshd_config to no and issued a service ssh restart (multiple times) and I can still login via SSH as root using a public key. This should be blocked correct?

I have read the related Q&As here and various others from a Google Search. As far as I can tell I’ve done the right thing but I can still login.

root@infra:~# cat /etc/ssh/sshd_config  | grep PermitRootLogin
PermitRootLogin no
# the setting of "PermitRootLogin yes
root@infra:~# 

Restarting ssh returns no errors, etc.

root@infra:~# service ssh restart
root@infra:~# 

PasswordAuthentication is also set to no (although root never had a password – started with a pub key installation) and for good measure UsePAM is set to no.

Love any suggestions!

2 comments
  • Do you have an ssh key authorising your logins? If so, ssh key auths override the PermitRootLogin function. Try removing /root/.ssh/authorized_keys.

  • I had removed the entire /root/.ssh directory for good measure and root was still able to login.

    Now whenever I spool up a new server I just do a restart after updated sshd_config and removing /root/.ssh (the whole thing for good measure).

    Once that’s is done all is well.

    Really strange.

These answers are provided by our Community. If you find them useful, show some love by clicking the heart. If you run into issues leave a comment, or add your own answer to help others.

×
3 answers

FYI re. a solution. Restarting the service didn’t cause the new settings to take effect. Rebooting the server did. No idea why that is the case.

OK, even stranger … I delete the .ssh directory from the root user using my sudo user. I can still login in as root on that machine even after a service ssh restart.

Mystified!

for me, i had

    ControlMaster auto
    ControlPath ~/.ssh/sockets/%r@%h-%p

set in my ~/.ssh/config
deleting the control path directory fixed the issu

Submit an Answer