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I just installed Debian 6, after reboot sshd stopped responding. I put the default config file but it not help. In the logs (/var/log/auth,syslog) no errors. I think the problem is that sshd not start. How can I try to run it? maybe do something in the startup scripts? Unfortunately I do not have physical access to my virtual machine, and can only reload it and view/edit the files in the filesystem.

[ added ]

Oh, thanks all. I found the problem.

Added /usr/sbin/sshd -e 2>/tmp/sshd_error to crontab

And get: /bin/sh: /usr/sbin/sshd: No such file or directory

Vaguely I could not understand where to lost a binary file on a freshly installed machine and I could work without it.

But now another question: how can I restore it?

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

You can start sshd by hand with exec /usr/sbin/sshd -D to see if sshd works in general. If it does, a update-rc.d ssh defaults should create the init.d symlinks as required.

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I have no shell access to the server. Can only reload server and view/edit the files. Maybe I can write something in the startup scripts? – vlad Jun 12 '11 at 19:21
no shell access? oh oh... does the /etc/init.d/ssh script exist? If it does (and if it contains the exec /usr/sbin/sshd call), take a look into the /etc/rc[0-6].d directories if there's a symlink. if there's no symlink, you could try to copy the script into /etc/rc3.d/, rename it to S16ssh (for example) and see if it's executed after a reboot. – tohuwawohu Jun 12 '11 at 19:42
@vlad: IMHO the best solution would be to re-install debian from scratch. If sshd is missing completely, most likely its dependencies are missing, too. Maybe other vital components are also missing, so i think it doesn't make much sense trying to repair that system manually. – tohuwawohu Jun 13 '11 at 7:49
Thanks. It turned out that it was a problem hosting company, they use a common packages (like sshd and etc) for all virtual machines and they have something broken. – vlad Jun 13 '11 at 12:35

You can run sshd in debug mode using the -d switch. This causes sshd to stay in the foreground and print messages to the console. You can increase the volume of log messages by adding more -d's

/usr/sbin/sshd -d

for normal logging

/usr/sbin/sshd -ddd 

for lots of logging.

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Unfortunately I have no shell access to the server. Can only reload server and view/edit the files. – vlad Jun 12 '11 at 19:20

Set the log level to DEBUG in sshd configuration.

LogLevel DEBUG
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What kinds of debug messages will get printed, and where? – Neil Jan 7 at 16:30

Maybe ssh isn't activated at boot? See if there are pointers in /etc/rc.d to /etc/init.d/ssh. Alternatively, it may not start if the ssh main key is missing. Check if /etc/ssh/ssh_host*key are present.

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