sshd - OpenSSH SSH daemon


sshd [-deiqtD46? [-b bits? [-f config_file? [-g login_grace_time? [-h host_key_file? [-k key_gen_time? [-p port? [-u len?


sshd (SSH Daemon) is the daemon program for ssh(1). Together these programs replace rlogin and rsh, and provide secure encrypted communications between two untrusted hosts over an insecure network. The programs are intended to be as easy to install and use as possible.

sshd is the daemon that listens for connections from clients. It is normally started at boot from /etc/rc. It forks a new daemon for each incoming connection. The forked daemons handle key exchange, encryption, authentication, command execution, and data exchange. This implementation of sshd supports both SSH protocol version 1 and 2 simultaneously. sshd works as follows.

SSH protocol version 1

Each host has a host-specific RSA key (normally 1024 bits) used to identify the host. Additionally, when the daemon starts, it generates a server RSA key (normally 768 bits). This key is normally regenerated every hour if it has been used, and is never stored on disk.

Whenever a client connects the daemon responds with its public host and server keys. The client compares the RSA host key against its own database to verify that it has not changed. The client then generates a 256 bit random number. It encrypts this random number using both the host key and the server key, and sends the encrypted number to the server. Both sides then use this random number as a session key which is used to encrypt all further communications in the session. The rest of the session is encrypted using a conventional cipher, currently Blowfish or 3DES, with 3DES being used by default. The client selects the encryption algorithm to use from those offered by the server.

Next, the server and the client enter an authentication dialog. The client tries to authenticate itself using .rhosts authentication, .rhosts authentication combined with RSA host authentication, RSA challenge-response authentication, or password based authentication.

Rhosts authentication is normally disabled because it is fundamentally insecure, but can be enabled in the server configuration file if desired. System security is not improved unless rshd(8)?, rlogind(8)?, and rexecd(8)? are disabled (thus completely disabling rlogin(1) and rsh(1) into the machine).

SSH protocol version 2

Version 2 works similarly: Each host has a host-specific key (RSA or DSA) used to identify the host. However, when the daemon starts, it does not generate a server key. Forward security is provided through a Diffie-Hellman key agreement. This key agreement results in a shared session key.

The rest of the session is encrypted using a symmetric cipher, currently 128 bit AES, Blowfish, 3DES, CAST128, Arcfour, 192 bit AES, or 256 bit AES. The client selects the encryption algorithm to use from those offered by the server. Additionally, session integrity is provided through a cryptographic message authentication code (hmac-sha1 or hmac-md5).

Protocol version 2 provides a public key based user (!PubkeyAuthentication?) or client host (!HostbasedAuthentication?) authentication method, conventional password authentication and challenge response based methods.

Command execution and data forwarding

If the client successfully authenticates itself, a dialog for preparing the session is entered. At this time the client may request things like allocating a pseudo-tty, forwarding X11 connections, forwarding TCP/IP connections, or forwarding the authentication agent connection over the secure channel.

Finally, the client either requests a shell or execution of a command. The sides then enter session mode. In this mode, either side may send data at any time, and such data is forwarded to/from the shell or command on the server side, and the user terminal in the client side.

When the user program terminates and all forwarded X11 and other connections have been closed, the server sends command exit status to the client, and both sides exit.

sshd can be configured using command-line options or a configuration file. Command-line options override values specified in the configuration file.

sshd rereads its configuration file when it receives a hangup signal, SIGHUP, by executing itself with the name it was started as, i.e., /usr/sbin/sshd.

The options are as follows:

-b bits
Specifies the number of bits in the ephemeral proto-col version 1 server key (default 768).
Debug mode. The server sends verbose debug output tothe system log, and does not put itself in the back-ground. The server also will not fork and will onlyprocess one connection. This option is only intendedfor debugging for the server. Multiple -d options increase the debugging level. Maximum is 3.
When this option is specified, sshd will send theoutput to the standard error instead of the systemlog.
configuration_fileSpecifies the name of the configuration file. The default is /etc/ssh/sshd_config. sshd refuses to start if there is no configuration file.
-g login_grace_time
Gives the grace time for clients to authenticate themselves (default 600 seconds). If the client fails to authenticate the user within this many seconds, the server disconnects and exits. A value of zero indicates no limit.
-h host_key_file
Specifies the file from which the host key is read (default /etc/ssh/ssh_host_key). This option must be given if sshd is not run as root (as the normal host file is normally not readable by anyone but root). It is possible to have multiple host key files for the different protocol versions and host key algorithms.
Specifies that sshd is being run from inetd. sshd is normally not run from inetd because it needs to generate the server key before it can respond to the client, and this may take tens of seconds. Clients would have to wait too long if the key was regenerated every time. However, with small key sizes (e.g., 512) using sshd from inetd may be feasible.
-k key_gen_time
Specifies how often the ephemeral protocol version 1 server key is regenerated (default 3600 seconds, or one hour). The motivation for regenerating the key fairly often is that the key is not stored anywhere, and after about an hour, it becomes impossible to recover the key for decrypting intercepted communications even if the machine is cracked into or physically seized. A value of zero indicates that the key will never be regenerated.
-p port
Specifies the port on which the server listens for connections (default 22).
Quiet mode. Only fatal errors are sent to the system log. Normally the beginning, authentication, and termination of each connection is logged. If a second -q is given then nothing is sent to the system log.
Test mode. Only check the validity of the configuration file and sanity of the keys. This is useful for updating sshd reliably as configuration options may change.
-u len
This option is used to specify the size of the field in the utmp structure that holds the remote host name. If the resolved host name is longer than len, the dotted decimal value will be used instead. This allows hosts with very long host names that overflow this field to still be uniquely identified. Specifying -u0 indicates that only dotted decimal addresses should be put into the

utmp file. -u0 is also be used to prevent sshd from making DNS requests unless the authentication mechanism or configuration requires it. Authentication mechanisms that may require DNS include !RhostsAuthentication?, !RhostsRSAAuthentication, !HostbasedAuthentication? and using a from="pattern-list" option in a key file. Configuration options that require DNS include using a USER@HOST pattern in !AllowUsers? or !DenyUsers?.

When this option is specified sshd will not detach and does not become a daemon. This allows easy monitoring of sshd.
Forces sshd to use IPv4 addresses only.
Forces sshd to use IPv6 addresses only.


sshd reads configuration data from /etc/ssh/sshd_config (or the file specified with -f on the command line). The file contains keyword-argument pairs, one per line. Lines starting with # and empty lines are interpreted as comments.

The possible keywords and their meanings are as follows (note that keywords are case-insensitive and arguments are case-sensitive):

Specifies whether an AFS token may be forwarded tothe server. Default is ``yes''.
This keyword can be followed by a list of groupnames, separated by spaces. If specified, login isallowed only for users whose primary group or supple-mentary group list matches one of the patterns. . and ? can be used as wildcards in the patterns. Onlygroup names are valid; a numerical group ID is notrecognized. By default login is allowed regardlessof the group list.
Specifies whether TCP forwarding is permitted. Thedefault is ``yes''. Note that disabling TCP forwarding does not improve security unless users are alsodenied shell access, as they can always install theirown forwarders.
This keyword can be followed by a list of user names,separated by spaces. If specified, login is allowedonly for users names that match one of the patterns.and ? can be used as wildcards in the patterns.Only user names are valid; a numerical user ID is notrecognized. By default login is allowed regardlessof the user name. If the pattern takes the formUSER@HOST then USER and HOST are separately checked,restricting logins to particular users from particu-lar hosts.
!AuthorizedKeysFileSpecifies? the file that contains the public keys thatcan be used for user authentication. !AuthorizedKeysFile? may contain tokens of the form %Twhich are substituted during connection set-up. Thefollowing tokens are defined
%% is replaced by aliteral '%', %h is replaced by the home directory ofthe user being authenticated and %u is replaced bythe username of that user. After expansion, !AuthorizedKeysFile? is taken to be an absolute path orone relative to the user's home directory. Thedefault is ``.ssh/authorized_keys''
In some jurisdictions, sending a warning messagebefore authentication may be relevant for gettinglegal protection. The contents of the specified fileare sent to the remote user before authentication isallowed. This option is only available for protocolversion 2.
Specifies whether challenge response authenticationis allowed. All authentication styles fromlogin.conf(5)? are supported. The default is ``yes''.
Specifies the ciphers allowed for protocol version 2. Multiple ciphers must be comma-separated. The default is ``aes128-cbc,3des-cbc,blowfish-cbc,cast128-cbc,arcfour.''
Sets a timeout interval in seconds after which if no data has been received from the client, sshd will send a message through the encrypted channel to request a response from the client. The default is 0, indicating that these messages will not be sent to the client. This option applies to protocol version 2 only.
Sets the number of client alive messages (see above) which may be sent without sshd receiving any messages back from the client. If this threshold is reached while client alive messages are being sent, sshd will disconnect the client, terminating the session. It is important to note that the use of client alive messages is very different from !KeepAlive? (below). The client alive messages are sent through the encrypted channel and therefore will not be spoofable. The TCP keepalive option enabled by !KeepAlive? is spoofable. The client alive mechanism is valuable when the client or server depend on knowing when a connection has become inactive. The default value is 3. If !ClientAliveInterval? (above) is set to 15, and !ClientAliveCountMax? is left at the default, unresponsive ssh clients will be disconnected after approximately 45 seconds.
This keyword can be followed by a number of group names, separated by spaces. Users whose primary group or supplementary group list matches one of the patterns aren't allowed to log in. and ? can be used as wildcards in the patterns. Only group names are valid; a numerical group ID is not recognized. By default login is allowed regardless of the group list.
This keyword can be followed by a number of user names, separated by spaces. Login is disallowed for user names that match one of the patterns. and ? can be used as wildcards in the patterns. Only user names are valid; a numerical user ID is not recognized. By default login is allowed regardless of the user name.
Specifies whether remote hosts are allowed to connect to ports forwarded for the client. By default, sshd binds remote port forwardings to the loopback addresss. This prevents other remote hosts from connecting to forwarded ports. !GatewayPorts? can be used to specify that sshd should bind remote port forwardings to the wildcard address, thus allowing remote hosts to connect to forwarded ports. The argument must be ``yes or ``no. The default is ``no''.
Specifies whether rhosts or /etc/hosts.equiv authentication together with successful public key client host authentication is allowed (hostbased authentication). This option is similar to RhostsRSAAuthentication and applies to protocol version 2 only. The default is ``no''.
Specifies the file containing the private host keys (default /etc/ssh/ssh_host_key) used by SSH protocol versions 1 and 2. Note that sshd will refuse to use a file if it is group/world-accessible. It is possible to have multiple host key files. ``rsa1 keys are used for version 1 and ``dsa or ``rsa'' are used for version 2 of the SSH protocol.
Specifies that .rhosts and .shosts files will not be used in !RhostsAuthentication?, RhostsRSAAuthentication or !HostbasedAuthentication?. /etc/hosts.equiv and /etc/ssh/shosts.equiv are still used. The default is ``yes''.
Specifies whether sshd should ignore the user's $HOME/.ssh/known_hosts during RhostsRSAAuthentication or !HostbasedAuthentication?. The default is ``no''.
Specifies whether the system should send keepalive messages to the other side. If they are sent, death of the connection or crash of one of the machines will be properly noticed. However, this means that connections will die if the route is down temporarily, and some people find it annoying. On the other hand, if keepalives are not sent, sessions may hang indefinitely on the server, leaving ``ghost users and consuming server resources. The default is ``yes (to send keepalives), and the server will notice if the network goes down or the client host reboots. This avoids infinitely hanging sessions. To disable keepalives, the value should be set to ``no'' in both the server and the client configuration files.
Specifies whether Kerberos authentication is allowed. This can be in the form of a Kerberos ticket, or if !PasswordAuthentication? is yes, the password provided by the user will be validated through the Kerberos KDC. To use this option, the server needs a Kerberos servtab which allows the verification of the KDC's identity. Default is ``yes''.
If set then if password authentication through Kerberos fails then the password will be validated via any additional local mechanism such as /etc/passwd. Default is ``yes''.
Specifies whether a Kerberos TGT may be forwarded to the server. Default is ``no'', as this only works when the Kerberos KDC is actually an AFS kaserver.
Specifies whether to automatically destroy the user's ticket cache file on logout. Default is ``yes''.
In protocol version 1, the ephemeral server key is automatically regenerated after this many seconds (if it has been used). The purpose of regeneration is to prevent decrypting captured sessions by later breaking into the machine and stealing the keys. The key is never stored anywhere. If the value is 0, the key is never regenerated. The default is 3600 (seconds).
Specifies the local addresses sshd should listen on. The following forms may be used:

ListenAddress? host|IPv4_addr|IPv6_addr

ListenAddress? host|IPv4_addr:port

ListenAddress? [ host?:port

If port is not specified, sshd will listen on the address and all prior Port options specified. The default is to listen on all local addresses. Multiple !ListenAddress? options are permitted. Additionally, any Port options must precede this option for non port qualified addresses.
The server disconnects after this time if the user has not successfully logged in. If the value is 0, there is no time limit. The default is 600 (seconds).
Gives the verbosity level that is used when logging messages from sshd. The possible values are: QUIET, FATAL, ERROR, INFO, VERBOSE and DEBUG. The default is INFO. Logging with level DEBUG violates the privacy of users and is not recommended.
Specifies the available MAC (message authentication code) algorithms. The MAC algorithm is used in protocol version 2 for data integrity protection. Multiple algorithms must be comma-separated. The default is ``hmac-md5,hmac-sha1,hmac-ripemd160,hmac-sha1-96,hmac-md5-96''.
Specifies the maximum number of concurrent unauthenticated connections to the sshd daemon. Additional connections will be dropped until authentication succeeds or the !LoginGraceTime? expires for a connection. The default is 10. Alternatively, random early drop can be enabled by specifying the three colon separated values ``start:rate:full'' (e.g.,
Specifies whether PAM challenge response authentication is allowed. This allows the use of most PAM challenge response authentication modules, but it will allow password authentication regardless of whether !PasswordAuthentication? is disabled. The default is ``no''.
Specifies whether password authentication is allowed. The default is ``yes''.
When password authentication is allowed, it specifies whether the server allows login to accounts with empty password strings. The default is ``no''.
Specifies whether root can login using ssh(1). The argument must be ``yes, ``without-password, ``forced-commands-only or ``no. The default is ``yes. If this option is set to ``without-password password authentication is disabled for root. If this option is set to ``forced-commands-only root login with public key authentication will be allowed, but only if the command option has been specified (which may be useful for taking remote backups even if root login is normally not allowed). All other authentication methods are disabled for root. If this option is set to ``no root is not allowed to login.
Specifies the file that contains the process identifier of the sshd daemon. The default is /var/run/
Specifies the port number that sshd listens on. The default is 22. Multiple options of this type are permitted. See also !ListenAddress?.
Specifies whether sshd should print the date and time when the user last logged in. The default is ``yes''.
Specifies whether sshd should print /etc/motd when a user logs in interactively. (On some systems it is also printed by the shell, /etc/profile, or equivalent.) The default is ``yes''.
Specifies the protocol versions sshd should support. The possible values are ``1 and ``2. Multiple versions must be comma-separated. The default is ``2,1''.
Specifies whether public key authentication is allowed. The default is ``yes''. Note that this option applies to protocol version 2 only.
Specifies whether sshd should try to verify the remote host name and check that the resolved host name for the remote IP address maps back to the very same IP address. The default is ``no''.
Specifies whether authentication using rhosts or /etc/hosts.equiv files is sufficient. Normally, this method should not be permitted because it is insecure. RhostsRSAAuthentication should be used instead, because it performs RSA-based host authentication in addition to normal rhosts or /etc/hosts.equiv authentication. The default is ``no''. This option applies to protocol version 1 only.
Specifies whether rhosts or /etc/hosts.equiv authentication together with successful RSA host authentication is allowed. The default is ``no''. This option applies to protocol version 1 only.
Specifies whether pure RSA authentication is allowed. The default is ``yes''. This option applies to protocol version 1 only.
Defines the number of bits in the ephemeral protocol version 1 server key. The minimum value is 512, and the default is 768.
Specifies whether sshd should check file modes and ownership of the user's files and home directory before accepting login. This is normally desirable because novices sometimes accidentally leave their directory or files world-writable. The default is ``yes''.
Configures an external subsystem (e.g., file transfer daemon). Arguments should be a subsystem name and a command to execute upon subsystem request. The command sftp-server(8) implements the ``sftp'' file transfer subsystem. By default no subsystems are defined. Note that this option applies to protocol version 2 only.
Gives the facility code that is used when logging messages from sshd. The possible values are: DAEMON, USER, AUTH, LOCAL0, LOCAL1, LOCAL2, LOCAL3, LOCAL4, LOCAL5, LOCAL6, LOCAL7. The default is AUTH.
Specifies whether login(1) is used for interactive login sessions. The default is ``no''. Note that login(1) is never used for remote command execution. Note also, that if this is enabled, X11Forwarding will be disabled because login(1) does not know how to handle xauth(1) cookies.
Specifies the first display number available for sshd's X11 forwarding. This prevents sshd from interfering with real X11 servers. The default is 10.
Specifies whether X11 forwarding is permitted. The default is ``no''. Note that disabling X11 forwarding does not improve security in any way, as users can always install their own forwarders. X11 forwarding is automatically disabled if !UseLogin? is enabled.
Specifies the location of the xauth(1) program. The default is /usr/bin/X11/xauth.

Time Formats

sshd command-line arguments and configuration file options that specify time may be expressed using a sequence of the form: time[ qualifier?, where time is a positive integer value and qualifier is one of the following:

s | S
m | M
h | H
d | D
w | W

Each member of the sequence is added together to calculate the total time value.

Time format examples:

600 600 seconds (10 minutes) 10m 10 minutes 1h30m 1 hour 30 minutes (90 minutes)


When a user successfully logs in, sshd does the following:

  1. .If the login is on a tty, and no command has beenspecified, prints last login time and /etc/motd (unless prevented in the configuration file or by $HOME/.hushlogin; see the FILES section).
  2. .If the login is on a tty, records login time.
  3. .Checks /etc/nologin; if it exists, prints contents and quits (unless root).
  4. .Changes to run with normal user privileges.
  5. .Sets up basic environment.
  6. .Reads $HOME/.ssh/environment if it exists.
  7. .Changes to user's home directory.
  8. .If $HOME/.ssh/rc exists, runs it; else if /etc/ssh/sshrc exists, runs it; otherwise runs xauth. The ``rc'' files are given the X11 authentication protocol and cookie in standard input.
  9. .Runs user's shell or command.


$HOME/.ssh/authorized_keys is the default file that lists the public keys that are permitted for RSA authentication in protocol version 1 and for public key authentication (PubkeyAuthentication?) in protocol version 2. !AuthorizedKeysFile? may be used to specify an alternative file.

Each line of the file contains one key (empty lines and lines starting with a # are ignored as comments). Each RSA public key consists of the following fields, separated by spaces: options, bits, exponent, modulus, comment. Each protocol version 2 public key consists of: options, keytype, base64 encoded key, comment. The options fields are optional; its presence is determined by whether the line starts with a number or not (the option field never starts with a number). The bits, exponent, modulus and comment fields give the RSA key for protocol version 1; the comment field is not used for anything (but may be convenient for the user to identify the key). For protocol version 2 the keytype is ``ssh-dss or ``ssh-rsa.

Note that lines in this file are usually several hundred bytes long (because of the size of the RSA key modulus). You don't want to type them in; instead, copy the, or the file and edit it.

The options (if present) consist of comma-separated option specifications. No spaces are permitted, except within double quotes. The following option specifications are supported (note that option keywords are case-insensitive):

  • from="pattern-list"
Specifies that in addition to public key authentication, the canonical name of the remote host must be present in the comma-separated list of patterns ('*' and '?' serve as wildcards). The list may also contain patterns negated by prefixing them with '!'; if the canonical host name matches a negated pattern, the key is not accepted. The purpose of this option is to optionally increase security: public key authentication by itself does not trust the network or name servers or anything (but the key); however, if somebody somehow steals the key, the key permits an intruder to log in from anywhere in the world. This additional option makes using a stolen key more difficult (name servers and/or routers would have to be compromised in addition to just the key).
  • command="command"
Specifies that the command is executed whenever this key is used for authentication. The command supplied by the user (if any) isignored. The command is run on a pty if the client requests a pty; otherwise it is run without a tty. If an 8-bit clean channel is required, one must not request a pty or should specify no-pty. A quote may be included in the command by quoting it with a backslash. This option might be useful to restrict certain public keys to perform just a specific operation. An example might be a key that permits remote backups but nothing else. Note that the client may specify TCP/IP and/or X11 forwarding unless they are explicitly prohibited. Note that this option applies to shell, command or subsystem execution.
  • environment="NAME=value"
Specifies that the string is to be added to the environment when logging in using this key. Environment variables set this way override other default environment values. Multiple options of this type are permitted. Environment processing is disabled by default and is controlled via the PermitUserEnvironment? option. This option is automatically disabled if UseLogin? is enabled.
  • no-port-forwarding
Forbids TCP/IP forwarding when this key is used for authentication. Any port forward requests by the client will return an error. This might be used, e.g., in connection with the command option.
  • no-X11-forwarding
Forbids X11 forwarding when this key is used for authentication. Any X11 forward requests by the client will return an error.
  • no-agent-forwarding
Forbids authentication agent forwarding when this key is used for authentication.
  • no-pty
Prevents tty allocation (a request to allocate a pty will fail).
  • permitopen="host:port"
Limit local ``ssh -L'' port forwarding such that it may only connect to the specified host and port. IPv6 addresses can be specified with an alternative syntax: host/port. Multiple permitopen options may be applied separated by commas. No pattern matching is performed on the specified hostnames, they must be literal domains or addresses.


1024 33 12121...312314325

from="*,!" 1024 35 23...2334 ylo@niksula

command="dump /home",no-pty,no-port-forwarding 1024 33 23...2323

permitopen="",permitopen="" 1024 33 23...2323


The /etc/ssh/ssh_known_hosts, and $HOME/.ssh/known_hosts files contain host public keys for all known hosts. The global file should be prepared by the administrator (optional), and the per-user file is maintained automatically: whenever the user connects from an unknown host its key is added to the per-user file.

Each line in these files contains the following fields: hostnames, bits, exponent, modulus, comment. The fields are separated by spaces.

Hostnames is a comma-separated list of patterns ('' and '?' act as wildcards); each pattern in turn is matched against the canonical host name (when authenticating a client) or against the user-supplied name (when authenticating a server). A pattern may also be preceded by ! to indicate negation: if the host name matches a negated pattern, it is not accepted (by that line) even if it matched another pattern on the line.

Bits, exponent, and modulus are taken directly from the RSA host key; they can be obtained, e.g., from /etc/ssh/ The optional comment field continues to the end of the line, and is not used.

Lines starting with # and empty lines are ignored as comments.

When performing host authentication, authentication is accepted if any matching line has the proper key. It is thus permissible (but not recommended) to have several lines or different host keys for the same names. This will inevitably happen when short forms of host names from different domains are put in the file. It is possible that the files contain conflicting information; authentication is accepted if valid information can be found from either file.

Note that the lines in these files are typically hundreds of characters long, and you definitely don't want to type in the host keys by hand. Rather, generate them by a script or by taking /etc/ssh/ and adding the host names at the front.


closenet,..., 1024 37 159...93, ssh-rsa AAAA1234.....=


Contains configuration data for sshd. This file should be writable by root only, but it is recommended (though not necessary) that it be world-readable.
/etc/ssh/ssh_host_key, /etc/ssh/ssh_host_dsa_key, /etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key
These three files contain the private parts of the host keys. These files should only be owned by root, readable only by root, and not accessible to others. Note that sshd does not start if this file is group/world-accessible.
/etc/ssh/, /etc/ssh/, /etc/ssh/
These three files contain the public parts of the host keys. These files should be world-readable but writable only by root. Their contents should match the respective private parts. These files are not really used for anything; they are provided for the convenience of the user so their contents can be copied to known hosts files. These files are created using ssh-keygen(1).
Contains Diffie-Hellman groups used for the "Diffie-Hellman Group Exchange".
Contains the process ID of the sshd listening for connections (if there are several daemons running concurrently for different ports, this contains the pid of the one started last). The content of this file is not sensitive; it can be world-readable.
Lists the public keys (RSA or DSA) that can be used to log into the user's account. This file must be readable by root (which may on some machines imply it being world-readable if the user's home directory resides on an NFS volume). It is recommended that it not be accessible by others. The format of this file is described above. Users will place the contents of their, and/or files into this file, as described in ssh-keygen(1).
/etc/ssh/ssh_known_hosts and $HOME/.ssh/known_hosts
These files are consulted when using rhosts with RSA host authentication or protocol version 2 hostbased authentication to check the public key of the host. The key must be listed in one of these files to be accepted. The client uses the same files to verify that it is connecting to the correct remote host. These files should be writable only by root/the owner. /etc/ssh/ssh_known_hosts should be world-readable, and $HOME/.ssh/known_hosts can but need not be world-readable.
If this file exists, sshd refuses to let anyone except root log in. The contents of the file are displayed to anyone trying to log in, and non-root connections are refused. The file should be world-readable.
/etc/hosts.allow, /etc/hosts.deny
Access controls that should be enforced by tcp-wrappers are defined here. Further details are described in hosts_access(5).
This file contains host-username pairs, separated by a space, one per line. The given user on the corresponding host is permitted to log in without password. The same file is used by rlogind and rshd. The file must be writable only by the user; it is recommended that it not be accessible by others. It is also possible to use netgroups in the file. Either host or user name may be of the form +@groupname to specify all hosts or all users in the group.
For ssh, this file is exactly the same as for .rhosts. However, this file is not used by rlogin and rshd, so using this permits access using SSH only.
This file is used during .rhosts authentication. In the simplest form, this file contains host names, one per line. Users on those hosts are permitted to log in without a password, provided they have the same user name on both machines. The host name may also be followed by a user name; such users are permitted to log in as any user on this machine (except root). Additionally, the syntax ``+@group can be used to specify netgroups. Negated entries start with -. If the client host/user is successfully matched in this file, login is automatically permitted provided the client and server user names are the same. Additionally, successful RSA host authentication is normally required. This file must be writable only by root; it is recommended that it be world-readable. Warning: It is almost never a good idea to use user names in hosts.equiv. Beware that it really means that the named user(s) can log in as anybody'', which includes bin, daemon, adm, and other accounts that own critical binaries and directories. Using a user name practically grants the user root access. The only valid use for user names that I can think of is in negative entries. Note that this warning also applies to rsh/rlogin.
This is processed exactly as /etc/hosts.equiv. However, this file may be useful in environments that want to run both rsh/rlogin and ssh.
This file is read into the environment at login (if it exists). It can only contain empty lines, comment lines (that start with #), and assignment lines of the form name=value. The file should be writable only by the user; it need not be readable by anyone else.
If this file exists, it is run with /bin/sh after reading the environment files but before starting the user's shell or command. It must not produce any output on stdout; stderr must be used instead. If X11 forwarding is in use, it will receive the "proto cookie" pair in its standard input (and DISPLAY in its environment). The script must call xauth(1) because sshd will not run xauth automatically to add X11 cookies. The primary purpose of this file is to run any initialization routines which may be needed before the user's home directory becomes accessible; AFS is a particular example of such an environment. This file will probably contain some initialization code followed by something similar to:

if read proto cookie && [ -n "$DISPLAY"?; then

if [ `echo $DISPLAY?; then

  1. X11UseLocalhost=yes
xauth add unix:`echo $DISPLAY cut -c11-` $proto $cookie


  1. X11UseLocalhost=no

xauth add $DISPLAY $proto $cookie



If this file does not exist, /etc/ssh/sshrc is run, and if that does not exist either, xauth is used to store the cookie. This file should be writable only by the user, and need not be readable by anyone else.
Like $HOME/.ssh/rc. This can be used to specify machine-specific login-time initializations globally. This file should be writable only by root, and should be world-readable.


OpenSSH is a derivative of the original and free ssh 1.2.12 release by Tatu Ylonen. Aaron Campbell, Bob Beck, Markus Friedl, Niels Provos, Theo de Raadt and Dug Song removed many bugs, re-added newer features and created OpenSSH. Markus Friedl contributed the support for SSH protocol versions 1.5 and 2.0.


scp(1), sftp(1), ssh(1), ssh-add(1), ssh-agent(1), ssh-keygen(1), login.conf(5)?, moduli(5)?, sftp-server(8)

T. Ylonen, T. Kivinen, M. Saarinen, T. Rinne, and S. Lehtinen, "SSH Protocol Architecture'', draft-ietf-secsh-architecture-09.txt, July 2001, work in progress material.

M. Friedl, N. Provos, and W. A. Simpson, "Diffie-Hellman Group Exchange for the SSH Transport Layer Protocol", draft-ietf-secsh-dh-group-exchange-01.txt, April 2001, work in progress material.

BSD September 25, 1999

This page is a man page (or other imported legacy content). We are unable to automatically determine the license status of this page.