SSH, otherwise known as "Secure Shell", is a method for securely connecting to a remote computer.

Ubuntu installs an SSH client (openssh-client) by default. If you want to be able to log in remotely into your machine, you need the server package, openssh-server (Install openssh-server). There are SSH clients for Windows as well, such as PuTTY.


If public key authentication doesn't work: make sure that on the server side, your home directory (~), the ~/.ssh directory, and the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file, are all writable only by their owner. In particular, none of them must be writable by the group (even if the user is alone in the group). chmod 755 or chmod 700 is ok, chmod 770 is not.

What to check when something is wrong:

  • Run ssh -vvv to see a lot of debugging output. If you post a question asking why you can't connect with ssh, include this output (you may want to anonymize host and user names).
  • If you can, check the server logs, typically in /var/log/daemon.log or /var/log/auth.log or similar.
  • If public key authentication isn't working, check the permissions again, especially the group bit (see above).

See also

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