SSH login problem , cannot login remotely over ssh

Posted June 22, 2016 36.8k views

Hi , I cannot remote ssh to my droplet, only from within the digitalocean web based ssh client. I am also using webmin and openvpn.

I have

PasswordAuthenitcation yes

I get from osx

ssh: connect to host 178.x.x.x port 22: Connection refused

I have port 22 open with UFW inbound and outbound with tcp or udp

do i need to specify the external IP or have I broken something by trying to make RSA keys for login ?

My other services are working well, only ssh seams to have a problem. Any ideas would be much welcomed.

here is my ssh_config

# Package generated configuration file
# See the sshd_config(5) manpage for details
# What ports, IPs and protocols we listen for
# Use these options to restrict which interfaces/protocols sshd will bind to
#ListenAddress ::
port 22
Protocol 1,2

# HostKeys for protocol version 2
HostKey /etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key
HostKey /etc/ssh/ssh_host_dsa_key
HostKey /etc/ssh/ssh_host_ecdsa_key
HostKey /etc/ssh/ssh_host_ed25519_key
#Privilege Separation is turned on for security
UsePrivilegeSeparation yes

# Lifetime and size of ephemeral version 1 server key
KeyRegenerationInterval 3600
ServerKeyBits 1024

# Logging
SyslogFacility AUTH
LogLevel INFO

# Authentication:
LoginGraceTime 120
PermitRootLogin yes
StrictModes yes
systemctl reload sshd

RSAAuthentication yes
PubkeyAuthentication yes
#AuthorizedKeysFile %h/.ssh/authorized_keys

# Don't read the user's ~/.rhosts and ~/.shosts files
IgnoreRhosts yes
# For this to work you will also need host keys in /etc/ssh_known_hosts
RhostsRSAAuthentication no
# similar for protocol version 2
HostbasedAuthentication no
# Uncomment if you don't trust ~/.ssh/known_hosts for RhostsRSAAuthentication
#IgnoreUserKnownHosts yes

# To enable empty passwords, change to yes (NOT RECOMMENDED)
PermitEmptyPasswords no

# Change to yes to enable challenge-response passwords (beware issues with
# some PAM modules and threads)
ChallengeResponseAuthentication no

# Change to no to disable tunnelled clear text passwords
PasswordAuthentication yes

# Kerberos options
#KerberosAuthentication no
#KerberosGetAFSToken no
#KerberosOrLocalPasswd yes
#KerberosTicketCleanup yes

# GSSAPI options
#GSSAPIAuthentication no
#GSSAPICleanupCredentials yes

X11Forwarding yes
X11DisplayOffset 10
PrintMotd no
PrintLastLog yes
TCPKeepAlive yes
#UseLogin no

#MaxStartups 10:30:60
#Banner /etc/

# Allow client to pass locale environment variables
AcceptEnv LANG LC_*

Subsystem sftp /usr/lib/openssh/sftp-server

# Set this to 'yes' to enable PAM authentication, account processing,
# and session processing. If this is enabled, PAM authentication will
# be allowed through the ChallengeResponseAuthentication and
# PasswordAuthentication.  Depending on your PAM configuration,
# PAM authentication via ChallengeResponseAuthentication may bypass
# the setting of "PermitRootLogin without-password".
# If you just want the PAM account and session checks to run without
# PAM authentication, then enable this but set PasswordAuthentication
# and ChallengeResponseAuthentication to 'no'.
UsePAM yes

# Added by DigitalOcean build process
# Configured 20160504
ClientAliveInterval 120
ClientAliveCountMax 2
GatewayPorts yes
AllowTcpForwarding yes
KeepAlive yes

  • Try SSHing using verbose mode ssh -v root@178.x.x.x and see if the debug logging gives you any hints as to the problem.

  • Did you restart the sshd server or reset the droplet after modifying sshd_config?

    service sshd restart


    systemctl restart sshd

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3 answers

Tried restarting both server droplet and sshd

$ ssh -v xyz@178.x.x.x
OpenSSH6.9p1, LibreSSL 2.1.8
debug1: Reading configuration data /etc/ssh/ssh
debug1: /etc/ssh/sshconfig line 20: Applying options for *
debug1: /etc/ssh/ssh
config line 102: Applying options for *
debug1: Connecting to 178.x.x.x [178.x.x.x] port 22.
debug1: connect to address 178.x.x.x port 22: Connection refused
ssh: connect to host 178.x.x.x port 22: Connection refused

I can use webmin, VPN, and other services.. port 22 is in the UFW list

could it be something worng wither certificates ? I’ve set config to allow login with usernames though..

  • Hello there,

    You can use -vvv in order to get even more verbose output and also paste the full output of the command so we can check it.


wait, you do mean … service ssh restart ?

service sshd restart … returns … sshd: unrecognised service

ok, I found I could debug sshd with this command

$(which sshd) -Ddp 10222

I was not getting anything meaningful in the normal logs

this line in sshd_config was causing the $(which sshd) to terminate..

systemctl reload sshd

do I need this line ? or should it be commented out ? is it used in the normal droplet config or was it added by something I ran ?

never had an issue with sshd before !

  • @benyb - After removing “systemctl reload sshd” in the sshd_config file, did it work?

    • working ,

      maybe “systemctl reload sshd” comes from a pre upgraded version of ssh..
      who knows ,

      it should be “systemctl reload ssh” in the upgraded version maybe , but I’m not sure what this line actuallly does? restarts ssh in case of process crash ?

      anyway everything working now including CSF with openvpn administered in webmin so all good.