I'm one of those guys who climbs up the ladder to the high dive and jumps off, then realizes he doesn't know how to swim.

So I have a VPS, and I have no idea how to administer it. I understand one of the first things to do is secure it, and the first concrete step in that direction I've found so far is in moshen's comment:

Also, you should secure your SSH access as soon as possible. I recommend changing the default port, using key-based authentication and disabling password authentication and root logins (basically create a standard user account for you to log in with)

So far, all I know how to do is use my VPS provider's web interface to open a console with root access. So how do I follow moshen's advice?


1 Answer 1


To secure your ssh you should do the next:

1) Make sure that you have an user with sudo access and public key, to do so follow the next steps:
a) Create the user by issuing:

useradd sudo_user

b) Login as this user and create a public/private key set, after which set the authorized_keys:

su - sudo_user
ssh-keygen -t rsa
touch ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub > ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

c) Get your private key from /home/sudo_user/.ssh/id_rsa that you will further use to login to the server:

cat /home/sudo_user/.ssh/id_rsa

d) Set sudo access for your user:

echo "sudo_user  ALL=(ALL)       NOPASSWD: ALL" >> /etc/sudoers

2) Edit your /etc/ssh/sshd_config config and make the next changes:
a) Disable root access by making sure the next lines says:

PermitRootLogin no

b) Disable password authentication by setting:

PasswordAuthentication no


PubkeyAuthentication yes

c) Change the port for ssh, make sure that the new port is open in the firewall first:

Port 12345

You can change it though to anything you like. d) Reload ssh by issuing:

service sshd reload


service ssh reload

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