I forgot to make a backup of /etc/ssh/sshd_config when last editing it. I now want to restore it to the default. Can someone upload the original text or show me how to obtain the original myself if there is a way should be right??

Thank you :)

  • sudo dpkg —reconfigure ssh maybe? Or apt-get install —reinstall ssh (superuser.com/a/102465 ).
    – Guy
    Jan 2, 2018 at 22:57

1 Answer 1


TLDR: Check /usr/share/openssh/sshd_config.

Suggestion for the future: Look in to etckeeper.

Other than purging and re-installing a package, there isn't a general way on Debian to reset the config to the default. There are basically three different ways packages handle config:

  1. Ship the configuration in the .deb as a dpkg config file. You could use dpkg-deb -x to extract this from the .deb file (do not extract to /! Instead extract it to a temporary directory, then copy it out). May archive managers can also extract from deb files for you.
  2. Ship something that is basically the config somewhere other than /etc (often /usr/share), use ucf to install it.
  3. Completely generate the config using scripts and install it somehow, often with ucf. If you're lucky, the generated file is sitting somewhere, probably in /var/lib.

As a user, you can tell them apart by what the you've modified the config prompt you sometimes see at upgrade looks like. dpkg -S will also only find files that are case #1 above.

Sometimes with (2) or (3), you'll get prompted again by using dpkg --reconfigure «package», especially if you pick different options than before. But not always; depends on the package. (Ideally it'd never happen, but some config files are too complicated to easily merge in your changes).

openssh-server does (2); you can find the original config at /usr/share/openssh/sshd_config

  • Ahh, doi. Purging it would obviously reset it. I'm an idiot, haha. But also those other options are helpful and I will keep them in mind. thanks :). Jan 3, 2018 at 0:20

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