I have a remote server which I can't access physically, for the last couple of weeks I could connect to it using both FTP protocol and VNC remote desktop. I changed the "Desktop Sharing" Program in ubuntu to get acess to its desktop. from yesterday, my access to my server using VNC protocol is not possible. I can ping my server and Connect to it using Filezilla for FTP transmission but When I want to connect to it using VNCviewer or SSH it gives the following error message:


"The connection was refused by the host computer"


ssh: connect to host port 22: Connection refused

I can only connect to my server using FTP protocol. I don't have a vnc server installed on my server so I think maybe the "Desktop sharing" program is failed. firewall if off. Also I can't change any files in /etc/ or /var/ or any root folders using FTP protocol. is there any way to access my server in this situation ?

Edited: I've rebooted my system by cutting off the electricity but still it gives the above error message.

  • Ftp can do nothing while considering remote access for servers.. its just for file access.. You have to look for any means of accessing server other than ftp.. may be openssh server crashed or stuck , needs rebooting
    – Aravinda
    Apr 5, 2015 at 8:15
  • @Aravinda I rebooted the system many times, but it still gives that error message !
    – Parsa
    Apr 5, 2015 at 15:15
  • So you have physical access to the server ? Why don't you check service status then ? I dont have much experience with "Desktop Sharing" over vnc. yet what i feel is its not a persistent connection... you may need to configure it to run at start up .. When considering ssh may be open ssh server is down, since you are sure there are not iptables/firewalls on..
    – Aravinda
    Apr 5, 2015 at 15:32
  • to verify firewall rules you can use sudo iptables -L -n and to verify ssh run sudo ps aux | grep sshd or /etc/init.d/sshd status and to make sure 22 is occupied use sudo netstat -plant | grep :22
    – Aravinda
    Apr 5, 2015 at 15:35
  • The server is not reachable since it is mounted in very high altitude (for estimating weather pollution ) so I can only reset it.
    – Parsa
    Apr 5, 2015 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


Looks like you've got the same problem I had a few years ago, though I only had to put a router in my back-pack!

A few hints before you go trek up a mountain:

  • Take a new server identical to the one you've locked yourself out of just in case you can't solve the problem with physical access.
  • Have an Iridium phone plugged into a modem attached to the new server so you can always dial in if the excrement hits the fan (like now)
  • Ensure the new server has fully redundant hardware (dual Power supply, NICs, RAID 1, ...)
  • Ensure you have dual switches in the facility.
  • Leave the new server behind even when you get the first one up-and-running.

And most important of all: from now on, have a test server next to you so you can test things out before you change production servers on mount Everest!

Sorry to be the harbinger of bad news...


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