I am getting a

port 22: Connection refused 

error while connecting to a server.

I have both the openssh client and server installed, and they are running. But still there is an error. Please help.

  • 3
    Just to clarify, is openssh server installed on the server?
    – Kevin
    Nov 17 '12 at 3:46
  • Check ssh is running on port 22 and if you have a firewall rule blocking the port. Nov 17 '12 at 3:46
  • 1
    According to me , Configure firewall such that it allows to ssh (port 22 ) which is currently blocked by firewall.
    – KK Patel
    Nov 17 '12 at 3:53
  • sudo ufw enable askubuntu.com/questions/417998/…
    – user548701
    May 26 '16 at 4:38
  • This could occur probably because of temporary network loss too. So check your internet connection.
    – user648610
    Jan 30 '17 at 16:43

I went through this issue and finally got appropriate answer.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openssh-server
sudo ufw allow 22

Then went into raspi-config in a terminal window and enabled ssh.

This will allow port 22 to be used for sshd.

  • Same problem here as @SDsolar
    – Nathan B
    Apr 29 '18 at 11:23
  • @Nadiv, I also had to use raspi-config to enable ssh. Answer has been edited to reflect this.
    – SDsolar
    Apr 29 '18 at 15:50
  • 1
    Performed the first three lines on both computers and the file is now successfully transferred. Why does Ubuntu not come with these installed/enabled by default? The connection refused error is so cryptic, I had no idea if it was a firewall issues, username issue, IP address issue, etc etc. Very frustrating.
    – Hatefiend
    Jun 20 '19 at 1:53
  • sudo ufw allow 22 worked once. Again the error started appearing.
    – vineeshvs
    Sep 5 '19 at 7:57

While on the server, check to make sure sshd is actually running, and is listening on port 22:

$ sudo netstat -anp | grep sshd
tcp        0      0    *               LISTEN      1538/sshd       
tcp6       0      0 :::22                   :::*                    LISTEN      1538/sshd       

If you don't get results, or they don't show you're listening on tcp fix that.

If you DO show that sshd is running and is listening on tcp port 22, check to make sure there's no firewall rule getting in the way. Again, on the server:

$ sudo iptables -L | grep ssh
DROP       tcp  --  anywhere             anywhere            tcp dpt:ssh 

Or alternately,

$ sudo ufw verbose
Status: active

To                         Action      From
--                         ------      ----
22                         DENY        Anywhere
22/tcp                     DENY        Anywhere

If you do see a rule like one of the ones above, you'll need to fix that.

If you don't see any firewall rules in the way and you do see the service running on the server, then it's time to check your workstation, and the network it's connected to. Can you connect to other servers? Can you ping your own interface or loopback address? Etc.

  • 1
    and if you can connect to other servers?
    – OpenCoderX
    Apr 25 '13 at 20:43
  • 2
    Hey thanks for answer, mine is not port 22, its 2222. You said, fix that, but how?
    – Yogesh
    Mar 11 '17 at 18:50
  • Mine gave no results.
    – SDsolar
    Jun 23 '17 at 21:20
  • fix it with: sudo ufw allow 22 (or whatever your port is)
    – John D
    Jan 19 '18 at 4:50
  • netstat is deprecated (and not installed by default on newer versions of Ubuntu - Command 'netstat' not found, but can be installed with...). Perhaps update for iproute2? Apr 26 '19 at 11:19

Try this

sudo apt-get remove openssh-client openssh-server

and then

sudo apt-get install openssh-client openssh-server

it worked for me :)

Probably not the most orthodox solution... :)

  • 3
    Using dpkg-reconfigure would possible be easier to use in lieu of an uninstall/reinstall solution Feb 23 '14 at 4:06
  • 1
    I had to use apt-get purge openssh-server (instead of remove) to get it to work.
    – 11101101b
    May 14 '16 at 15:01

Came across same problem after installing Raspbian. Solution that worked for me:

sudo apt-get purge openssh-server
sudo apt-get install openssh-server
  • If this worked you must have changed your sshd-config before.
    – guntbert
    Dec 22 '16 at 21:29
  • I edited sshd_config on Raspbian while trying to setup ssh. This solution worked for me.
    – Scott
    Jan 9 '17 at 20:45
  • +1. Only solution that worked!
    – Nathan B
    Apr 29 '18 at 11:29

The following commands worked for me:

cd /root/.ssh
vi known_hosts

Now delete everything in that file and enter on the terminal:

service sshd restart

Source: SSH - Connection Refused

  • similar problem for me, but I cleared my known_hosts with ssh-keygen -f "/home/MYUSER/.ssh/known_hosts" -R MYHOST, substituting in my linux user and remote host I was trying to connect to
    – Chris
    Apr 20 '18 at 16:52

This might fix it for you as well. Try port forwarding connection 22 from your outgoing IP address to your local IP on the same port. Worked for me allowing me to ssh in to remote ubuntu computer.


The static IP was wrong in my case. Found out by doing ping <my_ip> after switching off the server. It was still pinging even when the server was off. Correcting the IP solved the issue.

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