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I'm setting up a server for backing up my desktop box remotely. I want to prevent remote password access to the server, permitting only users with private keys (AKA my desktop box) to access it. How can I block remote password access while allowing physical password access to the server?

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up vote 30 down vote accepted

Just insert the following to the sshd config on the server (/etc/ssh/sshd_config)

PasswordAuthentication no

That should do the trick ;)

For more options type man sshd_config in to your terminal.

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See this thread for more hints: ubuntu.stackexchange.com/questions/2271/… – LassePoulsen Aug 15 '10 at 21:51
    
do i need to restart ssh after that? – bubakazouba Jun 22 at 3:27

Just a note about SSH access to servers - you may also want to disable the root user from ssh, this way at least hackers will have to guess the username as well.

PermitRootLogin no
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Or just lock and delete the password for the root account. (Assuming the default user has sudo access) – David Bailey Oct 6 '15 at 17:57

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