How to Start SSH Session in Linux? A Comprehensive Guide


In the realm of Linux system administration, mastering the art of starting an SSH (Secure Shell) session is paramount. SSH enables remote access to your Linux server, allowing you to manage it effectively and securely. Whether you’re a seasoned sysadmin or a curious enthusiast, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to initiate SSH sessions in Linux.

How to Start SSH Session in Linux?

To embark on the journey of establishing SSH sessions in Linux, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the Terminal

Begin by opening the terminal on your local machine. The terminal serves as your gateway to communicate with the remote server using SSH commands.

Step 2: Use the SSH Command

In the terminal, use the following command to initiate the SSH session:

ssh username@server_ip

Replace “username” with your actual username and “server_ip” with the IP address of the remote server. Hit Enter to execute the command.

Step 3: Enter Password or Key

If you’re using password-based authentication, you’ll be prompted to enter your password. Alternatively, if you’re using key-based authentication, the SSH session will be established seamlessly if your private key matches the public key on the server.

Step 4: Successful Connection

Upon successful authentication, you’ll be connected to the remote server via SSH. You can now execute commands, transfer files, and manage the server as if you were physically present.

Key Advantages of SSH

SSH offers a myriad of benefits that contribute to its indispensability in Linux administration:

  • Security: SSH employs encryption to protect data during transmission, thwarting unauthorized access and eavesdropping.
  • Remote Access: Gain remote access to your server from anywhere, facilitating efficient management.
  • Authentication Methods: Choose between password-based or key-based authentication, adding an extra layer of security.
  • Data Integrity: SSH ensures the integrity of data transferred between the client and server.
  • Portability: Works across different operating systems and platforms, making it versatile and widely adopted.

Tips for a Smooth SSH Experience

Here are some expert tips to enhance your SSH sessions:

  • Key Pair Setup: Opt for key-based authentication for heightened security and convenience.
  • Update Regularly: Keep your SSH client and server updated to patch security vulnerabilities.
  • Firewall Rules: Configure firewall rules to permit SSH traffic and prevent connectivity issues.
  • Non-Standard Port: Consider using a non-standard port for SSH to deter automated attacks.
  • Terminate Idle Sessions: Set a timeout for idle sessions to enhance security and resource management.

Common FAQs

How do I generate an SSH key pair?

Generating an SSH key pair involves using the ssh-keygen command. Once generated, you can place the public key on the remote server for key-based authentication.

What if I forgot my SSH key passphrase?

If you forget your passphrase, the private key becomes inaccessible. You might need to generate a new key pair and update it on the server.

Can I customize the SSH port?

Yes, you can change the default SSH port (port 22) to a custom port for added security. Remember to update your firewall rules accordingly.

Is it possible to automate SSH connections?

Absolutely! You can use tools like sshpass or configure SSH keys without a passphrase to automate SSH connections.

How do I copy files from my local machine to the remote server?

The scp (secure copy) command allows you to securely transfer files between your local machine and the remote server via SSH.

What if I encounter “Host key verification failed”?

This error typically occurs when the remote server’s host key has changed. To resolve it, remove the old key from your known_hosts file or update the entry.

How to start SSH session on Linux?

To start an SSH session on Linux, open the terminal and use the “ssh” command followed by the remote server’s address.

How do I use SSH on Linux?

To use SSH on Linux, open a terminal, type “ssh” followed by the remote server’s address, and authenticate with your credentials.

How do I SSH from one Linux system to another?

To SSH from one Linux system to another, open the terminal on the source system, use the “ssh” command with the target system’s address, and provide your login details.

How to connect Linux to Linux using SSH?

To connect one Linux system to another using SSH, launch the terminal on the initiating system, employ the “ssh” command along with the destination system’s address, and authenticate using valid credentials.


Starting an SSH session in Linux empowers you to manage your servers with ease and security. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ve taken a significant stride towards becoming a proficient Linux system administrator. Embrace the flexibility, security, and efficiency that SSH offers, and unlock new horizons in remote server management.

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