How to enable SSH for GCE

If you’re hosting a Linux box with Google Cloud Engine, SSH will be disabled by default.

There are pretty good reasons for this, especially brute force attacks. So you’re pretty much stuck to using their login method.

But alas, you can simply change a few security settings for SSH and then you can do old school SSH.

I DON’T RECOMMEND YOU DO THIS unless you know what you’re doing.

vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config

PermitRootLogin yes
PasswordAuthentication Yes
UsePAM no


Don’t leave port commented, uncomment, and change it to something else. BEWARE, you might have Amazon firewall, and another firewall, so SSH might stop working. So be very careful.


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