How To Change SSH Port in Ubuntu

Change SSH Port in Ubuntu

In this tutorial, we will show you how to change ssh port on the Ubuntu system. For those of you who didn’t know, SSH is a program and protocol for securely connecting to remote machines across a network. It allows you to run programs, and do a variety of tasks as if you were sitting at the machine. SSH is very similar to telnet except it is with encryption to protect the transferred information and authentication. The Secure Shell (SSH) Protocol by default uses port 22. Accepting this value does not make your system insecure, nor will changing the port provide a significant variance in security. However, changing the default SSH port will stop many automated attacks and a bit harder to guess which port SSH is accessible from

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the change of the default SSH port on Ubuntu Linux. You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

Change SSH Port in Ubuntu

Step 1. Log into your server as the root user.

ssh root@hostname/IP

Step 2. Open our SSH configuration.

NOTE: Before changing the port, you should make sure that the new port is free and is not used by another service on your VPS. You should also check if the port is not closed in your server firewall.

nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Edit the line which states ‘Port 22’. Choose an appropriate port, also making sure it not currently used on the system. Here I am using 959:

# What ports, IPs and protocols we listen for
Port 959

Once you have the change done, simply exit and save the sshd_conf file. Now all you need to run is the below command and it will restart the SSH server. The next time you want to connect via SSH, you will need to do so on your new port, in our case, 959:

sudo systemctl restart sshd

SSH will listen on port 959. You can check this by executing the following command in the terminal:

netstat -tunlp |grep ssh

Verify SSH is listening on the new port by connecting to it. Note how the port number now needs to be declared:

ssh -p 959 username@hostname.com

Step 3. Configure Firewall.

If you are using UFW, the default firewall configuration tool for Ubuntu, run the following command to open the new SSH port:

sudo ufw allow 959/tcp

Congratulations! You have successfully change the default SSH port. Thanks for using this tutorial to change the OpenSSH port number on Ubuntu 20.04 systems.

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