10 Useful SSH (Secure Shell) Interview Questions and Answers

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Avishek Kumar

I am a major in computer science, love to research nix. I love to write codes and scripts, review distros, experiment Foss Technologies, write technical articles, Hack, of course Ethically. I am working as System Administrator (nix) for a NGO.

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26 Responses

  1. Markus says:

    At Debian systems the SSH config could be found at “/etc/ssh/sshd_config” not “/etc/ssh/ssh_config” this is the SSH-Client config!

  2. anon says:

    good one!

  3. naboj says:

    On Debian and most Debian-based systems like, Ubuntu the ssh server configuration is in /etc/ssh/sshd_config
    There are a lot of differences between Debian and Red Hat, but this is identical!

  4. Kai S says:

    Ref #6
    I would also like a message when i login, but I only get a message, maybe my configuration is wrong ;-)

    Ref #8
    A better way is
    grep “Failed password for” /var/log/secure
    because pipe will fork another process.

  5. BasketCase says:

    On #1 and #2, as has been said by others, the /etc/ssh/ssh_config file is the client configuration while /etc/ssh/sshd_config is the server configuration file. All distributions should have both. Debian is not special here.

    On #2 I prefer the without-password setting for PermitRootLogin. This disables password authentication for the root account but still allows root access via more secure authentication methods. Normally that means key authentication but it can also mean any other non-password authentication you have configured (such as the also previously mentioned Kerberos).

    On #4 you would only need to specify a key file to ssh-copy-id if the file is not one of the standard file names and is not loaded into an agent. Otherwise ssh-copy-id will authorize every key it can find. You should also mention how to manually authorize a key since servers often have password authentication disabled (something that should be an additional question) and therefore ssh-copy-id can’t get in to authorize your key(s).

    On #9 both sftp and rsync should also be mentioned. Both are actually superior to scp unless you need the rarely used scp -3 functionality.

  6. Jairusan says:

    Thank you Kumar, excellent article. One quick question, I was checking for the “/var/log/secure” file on my linux mint 17 Qiana and was not there. Is there a command or comment change I need to do to get SSH to start keeping logs about fail log in attempts.? Thank you in advance!

    • Jairusan says:

      Actually, I found out that in Debian based systems the “/var/log/secure” file is in “/var/log/auth.log” ^.^ Thank you!

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