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SSH is a protocol to remotely execute commands on a target computer. Configured incorrectly it can be a huge security risk (not the fault of ssh, simply remote command execution is that dangerous).

Configuration Tips

  • Turn off root login
  • Whitelist using iptables if you can
  • Use SSH Keys and disable password login

SSH Keys

  • Generate a key with ssh-keygen -b 4096 -t rsa -C YOUR_EMAIL_HERE
  • Add the contents of ~/.ssh/ on your computer to ~/.ssh/authorized_keys on the remote computer.
  • Make sure to set the permissions on the remote computer correctly: chmod 700 ~/.ssh and chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
  • Now you should be able to ssh in with ssh USESR@HOST:22 (if no user is specified it assumes your own) (if no port is specified it assumes 22)

SSH Config

SSH config is located at ~/.ssh/config. Used to save common hosts that you connect to so that you can connect easier.


(See here for more info)

SSH Agent

  • Start an SSH agent with eval $(ssh-agent) (some desktop environments start this for you)
  • Add your ssh key ssh-add PATH_TO_YOUR_KEY (if no path is specified it assumes ~/.ssh/id_rsa)
  • Now you will not need to be prompted for your password every time. If you want to forward your ssh agent to a remote server you can use the -A flag on the ssh command.

More information