July 03, 2012
Updated: May 1, 2013 The steps below also work for Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) with a couple of minor alterations.
The format of the entries in
/etc/services puts the UDP or TCP designator after the port number instead of after the service name. So they should look like this:
ssh2 11122/tcp # my ssh port ssh2 11122/udp # my ssh port
And in order to unload and reload the
ssh.plist you’ll have to
$ sudo launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ssh.plist $ sudo launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ssh.plist
End of Update
My employer is getting ready to block all access to the usual ssh port (22). While this may seem like a security-through-obscurity measure it does eliminate the endless pounding of scripts against that well-known port. In preparation for the upcoming block on port 22 I followed the steps outlined in Mac OS X Lion - Changing SSHD Port to permanently change the ssh port on all my machines.
In a nutshell you first edit the
/etc/services file and add an entry for the port number you wish to use for secure shell access. Pick one that isn’t already used for something else, e.g., 11122. Add two lines to the services file, one for TCP and one for UDP:
ssh2/udp 11122 ssh2/tcp 11122
Next you need to edit the
/System/Library/LaunchDeamons/ssh.plist file. Here you want to search for the original ssh entry and alter it to point to your new ssh entry.
and change it to read
Save both changes and then reboot your machine. Or unload and reload the services using
launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ssh.plist launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ssh.plist
Finally, in the Sharing pane of System Preferences make sure that
Remote Login is selected. This toggles the SockService on or off. By changing the port number that SockService points to in the
ssh.plist, and by defining the new port number in
/etc/services you’ve set this toggle up to control your new secret sshd port.
The Mac OS X Firewall (under Security & Privacy in System Preferences) can be either on or off without effecting the Remote Login setting. Although why you would want to have the Firewall off is beyond me.
For convenience sake you can create an alias for any machine you regularly access
alias buildBox='ssh firstname.lastname@example.org -p 11122'
As with any change to low level configuration information on your system proceed with caution and have a good backup handy.