I could SSH to 1 server with a non-root user. However, I tried to enable root login at /etc/ssh/sshd_config with this content:

# Package generated configuration file
# See the sshd_config(5) manpage for details

# What ports, IPs and protocols we listen for
Port 22
# Use these options to restrict which interfaces/protocols sshd will bind to
#ListenAddress ::
Protocol 2
# HostKeys for protocol version 2
HostKey /etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key
HostKey /etc/ssh/ssh_host_dsa_key
HostKey /etc/ssh/ssh_host_ecdsa_key
HostKey /etc/ssh/ssh_host_ed25519_key
#Privilege Separation is turned on for security
UsePrivilegeSeparation yes

# Lifetime and size of ephemeral version 1 server key
KeyRegenerationInterval 3600
ServerKeyBits 1024

# Logging
SyslogFacility AUTH
LogLevel INFO

# Authentication:
LoginGraceTime 120
PermitRootLogin yes
StrictModes yes

RSAAuthentication yes
PubkeyAuthentication yes
#AuthorizedKeysFile %h/.ssh/authorized_keys

# Don't read the user's ~/.rhosts and ~/.shosts files
IgnoreRhosts yes
# For this to work you will also need host keys in /etc/ssh_known_hosts
RhostsRSAAuthentication no
# similar for protocol version 2
HostbasedAuthentication no
# Uncomment if you don't trust ~/.ssh/known_hosts for RhostsRSAAuthentication
#IgnoreUserKnownHosts yes

# To enable empty passwords, change to yes (NOT RECOMMENDED)
PermitEmptyPasswords no

# Change to yes to enable challenge-response passwords (beware issues with
# some PAM modules and threads)
ChallengeResponseAuthentication no

# Change to no to disable tunnelled clear text passwords
PasswordAuthentication yes

# Kerberos options
#KerberosAuthentication no
#KerberosGetAFSToken no
#KerberosOrLocalPasswd yes
#KerberosTicketCleanup yes

# GSSAPI options
#GSSAPIAuthentication no
#GSSAPICleanupCredentials yes

X11Forwarding yes
X11DisplayOffset 10
PrintMotd no
PrintLastLog yes
TCPKeepAlive yes
#UseLogin no

#MaxStartups 10:30:60
#Banner /etc/issue.net

# Allow client to pass locale environment variables
AcceptEnv LANG LC_*

Subsystem sftp /usr/lib/openssh/sftp-server

# Set this to 'yes' to enable PAM authentication, account processing,
# and session processing. If this is enabled, PAM authentication will
# be allowed through the ChallengeResponseAuthentication and
# PasswordAuthentication.  Depending on your PAM configuration,
# PAM authentication via ChallengeResponseAuthentication may bypass
# the setting of "PermitRootLogin without-password".
# If you just want the PAM account and session checks to run without
# PAM authentication, then enable this but set PasswordAuthentication
# and ChallengeResponseAuthentication to 'no'.
UsePAM yes

Then, when I SSH with root user, the SSH shows welcome message from server (Ubuntu 16.04) then, it closes SSH connections immediately (return code is 254).

 ssh -vvv root@IPADDRESS

Welcome to Ubuntu 16.04.5 LTS (GNU/Linux 3.10.0-862.el7.x86_64 x86_64)

 * Documentation:  https://help.ubuntu.com
 * Management:     https://landscape.canonical.com
 * Support:        https://ubuntu.com/advantage
Last login: Tue Mar 12 15:50:43 2019 from =
debug3: receive packet: type 98
debug1: client_input_channel_req: channel 0 rtype exit-status reply 0
debug3: receive packet: type 98
debug1: client_input_channel_req: channel 0 rtype [email protected] reply 0
debug2: channel 0: rcvd eow
debug2: channel 0: close_read
debug2: channel 0: input open -> closed
debug3: receive packet: type 96
debug2: channel 0: rcvd eof
debug2: channel 0: output open -> drain
debug2: channel 0: obuf empty
debug2: channel 0: close_write
debug2: channel 0: output drain -> closed
debug3: receive packet: type 97
debug2: channel 0: rcvd close
debug3: channel 0: will not send data after close
debug2: channel 0: almost dead
debug2: channel 0: gc: notify user
debug2: channel 0: gc: user detached
debug2: channel 0: send close
debug3: send packet: type 97
debug2: channel 0: is dead
debug2: channel 0: garbage collecting
debug1: channel 0: free: client-session, nchannels 1
debug3: channel 0: status: The following connections are open:
  #0 client-session (t4 r0 i3/0 o3/0 fd -1/-1 cc -1)

debug3: send packet: type 1
Connection to  closed.
Transferred: sent 2728, received 2860 bytes, in 0.2 seconds
Bytes per second: sent 14425.2, received 15123.2
debug1: Exit status 254
  • What is root's shell? Does ssh root@IP bash --norc work?
    – jordanm
    Mar 12, 2019 at 16:33
  • @jordanm it is bash already and your command does not work. Mar 13, 2019 at 6:58


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