Monday, June 28, 2010

How to Enable Root Login (CentOS / RHEL)

Disclaimer: It's always best practice that any machine on the internet not allow direct Root login via SSH.

To allow Root to log in, we need to update our sshd_config file located at /etc/ssh/sshd_config.

To update this file, we need to switch over to Root:
[admin@blanche ~]$ su root
Password:
[root@blanche ~]#

Go to the /ect/ssh directory:
[root@blanche ~]# cd /etc/ssh
[root@blanche ssh]#

Now, let's edit our sshd_config file using vi:
[root@blanche ssh]# vi sshd_config

Look for the following section (about 1/3 of the way down):
#LoginGraceTime 2m
PermitRootLogin no

Hit "i" to insert and then change the value for PermitRootLogin from no to yes.

Hit Escape and then :wq! to save changes and close the file.

Finally, still as Root, we need to restart SSHD using /etc/init.d/sshd restart.

[root@blanche ssh]# /etc/init.d/sshd restart
Stopping sshd:                                             [  OK  ]
Starting sshd:                                             [  OK  ]

Exit your session, open a new terminal and confirm you are now able to login as Root:

login as: root
root@blanche's password:
Last login: Mon Jun 28 16:21:53 2010
[root@blanche ~]#

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