Install/Enable SSH & Connect on Linux Mint 20 LTS

SSH or known by its full name Secure Shell Protocol, is a cryptographic network communication protocol that enables two computers to communicate securely over an unsecured network. SSH is highly used for remote login applications and command-line executables such as terminal applications.

For users wishing to connect to servers or other computers with SSH, the client and the remote connection need to both have SSH installed and enabled for this to be possible.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install and enable SSH on Linux Mint 20 LTS and connect to a remote PC.

Update Linux Mint System

First, before you begin, make sure your Linux Mint system is up-to-date.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Install SSH (OpenSSH)

SSH is not installed or enabled on your system by default.

First, run the following command in your terminal to begin the installation.

sudo apt install openssh-server

Example output:

Install/Enable SSH on Linux Mint 20 LTS

Type Y, then press the ENTER KEY to proceed.

Once installed, enable SSH using the following command.

sudo systemctl enable --now ssh

Next, check the status of the SSH instance to make sure it is running and no errors have occurred.

systemctl status ssh

Example output:

Install/Enable SSH on Linux Mint 20 LTS

Another handy trick is to use the following command to see open connections.

ss -lt

Example output:

Install/Enable SSH on Linux Mint 20 LTS

Connecting to SSH Server

With SSH now installed and enabled, you can connect to a remote system, another remote PC, or a server. Remember, the SSH software must be enabled on both ends for this to work.

First, you will need to have the internal/external IP address or the hostname and preferably the username of the account connecting too, then use the ssh command to begin the connection.

ssh username@ip-address/hostname

When you connect to the remote SSH instance for the first time, you will receive the following message.

Example:

Install/Enable SSH on Linux Mint 20 LTS

Type YES, then you will be prompted to enter your password; once done, press the ENTER KEY.

Once successfully connected instead of joshua@linux-mint-20, we now see joshua@debian-11 since your terminal window is logged in to the remote session.

Example output (Connected to Debian-11 Remote PC):

Install/Enable SSH on Linux Mint 20 LTS

Disabling SSH (OpenSSH)

For instances where you do not need SSH running, you should always have this disabled for security purposes. Many malicious bots scan the internet for SSH instances and brute force them if they are not secure.

To disable SSH, use the following command.

sudo systemctl disable ssh --now

When you need to have SSH re-enabled, use the following command.

sudo systemctl enable ssh --now

Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned how to install and enable SSH (OpenSSH) on Linux Mint 20 LTS.

Overall, SSH is the go-to protocol compared to using other similar services such as TELNET which is not secure. However, ensure your firewalls are activated when using SSH over an open-unsecured network.



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