SSHd with FreeBSD 5.3

General Information

I ran FreeBSD 5.2 for a long time with the default SSHd and then decided to upgrade to 5.3-STABLE. I normally use SecureCRT as my SSH client and I like password authentication. After I upgraded to 5.3, I could no longer logon using password authentication and I had to switch to keyboard interactive. This disallowed me from logging in with sftp from remote locations which really bummed me out. Here is the fix I found.

Note: This fix only affects people running FreeBSD 5.3 with the default SSHd — not OpenSSHd.


  1. Local root access on the box or be able to su to root.
  2. A SSH client that supports ANSI colors such as puTTy or SecureCRT (if you aren’t on the box).


The steps are really simple and I felt silly for not thinking of it sooner.

# echo "PasswordAuthentication=yes" >> /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Now, just restart sshd.

# /etc/rc.d/sshd reload

There you go. Now you can enjoy password authentication again.

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