I'm trying to SSH into a Debian Buster Virtualbox host on my macOS laptop (Mojave), but keep getting the error Address family not supported by protocol family. Not sure how this could be an IPv6 issue since I've disabled IPv6 in the /etc/hosts of the vm and my laptop.

Here's the /etc/hosts of my laptop:       localhost broadcasthost

Here's the /etc/hosts of the vm:       localhost       debian

Here's the /etc/ssh/sshd_config of the vm:

Port 22
AddressFamily any
PasswordAuthentication yes
PermitEmptyPasswords no
ChallengeResponseAuthentication no
UsePAM yes
X11Forwarding yes
PrintMotd yes
TCPKeepAlive yes
UseDNS no
AcceptEnv LANG LC_*
Subsystem sftp /usr/lib/openssh/sftp-server

Here's my local vm's iptables config:


My username is the same on my laptop as on the vm. I got the IP address based on arp -a output. Here's the command I'm running and the output I get.

└─[$] <> ssh
ssh: connect to host port 22: Address family not supported by protocol family
  • 3 is a multicast address—you cannot ssh to this.
    – Torin
    Sep 15, 2019 at 20:36
  • @Torin welp that'd be my problem then. I selected the wrong IP. Thanks!
    – mttpgn
    Sep 15, 2019 at 20:41
  • More generally, as well as not using multicast addresses for individual hosts, never use an IP address that doesn't belong to you. Use the RFC-1918 private networks:,, or These are reserved for anyone to use within private networks and will never be allocated to anyone or routed on the internet.
    – cas
    Sep 16, 2019 at 4:56


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