Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

If you access my server via HTTP using the SSH port (22), you'll see a message like this:

SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_5.9p1 Debian-5ubuntu1.1

Could be possible to display a different message?

share|improve this question
Downvoter, it would be great if you could tell me why. Thanks :) – Oscar Mederos Mar 3 '14 at 22:16
You could look around at the file called \etc\motd I've seen that file in many different distributions of Linux. I believe it's also available for Debian. (i use CentOS) Here is a link : protect-ssh-logins-with-ssh-motd-banner-messages/ – hayonj Feb 17 '15 at 18:35
up vote 7 down vote accepted

The Debian/Ubuntu version identification is a Debian-ism which isn't present in standard OpenSSH.

You can disable it by setting DebianBanner no in /etc/ssh/sshd_config.

The end result will be:


You should not disable this as it's required to negotiate the SSH protocol connection.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for your answer and citations! :) – Oscar Mederos Mar 1 '14 at 20:22
Small amendment: you can in fact remove or change anything after "SSH-2.0-". Those are required by the SSH protocol; the rest of the string is a comment, not interpreted by the protocol. Note that if you do that, however, you may cause trouble for clients which identify server implementations in this way and turn on specific features or workarounds for known incompatibilities. – Richard E. Silverman Mar 6 '14 at 3:58

There is a Banner option in */etc/ssh/sshd_config*: The contents of the specified file are sent to the remote user before authentication is allowed. If the argument is “none” then no banner is displayed. This option is only available for protocol version 2. By default, no banner is displayed. This way you cannot remove the version string, but is very handy to use it to provide legal information.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.