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Thread: Non-Local SSH access to Ubuntu Server instance running in VirtualBox

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    Non-Local SSH access to Ubuntu Server instance running in VirtualBox

    Hello all,

    I successfully installed Ubuntu Server 18.04.2 LTS using a VM with VirtualBox. I am able to access my machine via ssh on the same network using <username@LocalIP>. However, I am unable to access my server outside of the local network (using a vpn on my laptop to test public access to server).

    What I have done so far:
    • I am using a bridged connection from the host-computer to my VM
    • I configured my Belkin router to port-forward port 22 to my servers IP@ obtained through ifconfig
    • I tried to remote in via ssh <user@PublicIP> --this is where I get a timeout message...

    Is anyone able to assist me with this issue. I know more information is probably required but I'm not sure what.

    Thank you kindly in advance!

    P.S I am attempting to do this to debug why I am unable to successfully access my nextcloud server via a subdomain pointed at my public address. And YES, I browsed hundreds of forums the last 3 days with no success -I am computer literate

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Ubuntu Mate 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Non-Local SSH access to Ubuntu Server instance running in VirtualBox

    Many home routers will block return access through the WAN port for security reasons. I'd check that.
    I wouldn't use port 22/tcp on the internet. You'll be constantly attacked. Have your router do port translation from a really high port external to the static LAN IP for the Linux machine port 22/tcp. Then use the ~/.ssh/config file so you never need to know that port or your static public IP again. Also, setup denyhosts or fail2ban to do something about brute-force attacks and once you get things working perfectly, setup ssh-keys for all non-local access.

    Some ssh articles:

    As for nextcloud, I use it only with either an ssh-tunnel or over a full VPN. HTTPS is just too hackable these days. I see 10K HTTP/HTTPS attacks against my public servers every day - all looking for php hacks. To me, it just isn't worth the risks to put a PHP-webapp directly on the internet.

    The ssh-tunnel is setup this way:
    $ more 
    # Only start SOCKS proxy if necessary
    if  [ $(ps -eaf |grep ssh |grep -c 64000) = 0 ] ; then
       # Setup SOCKS proxy through home server
       echo "Starting ssh SOCKS Proxy"
       ssh -f -C -D 64000 -NT 
    echo "Starting Firejail chromium with private & proxy "
    export http_proxy="socks5://localhost:64000"; 
    firejail --private chromium-browser \
             --proxy-server="socks5://localhost:64000" &

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    Re: Non-Local SSH access to Ubuntu Server instance running in VirtualBox

    Thank you for your response TheFu.

    I reconfigured my router to forward a high port to my Local Servers Static IP -port 22/tcp.

    I somewhat understand the ssh_config file. I made hosts and got them working on my internal network from my laptop to my desktop via ssh(as outlined in the articles you provided). However, I am still lost on how to configure the sshd_config or ssh_config to allow ssh connection from outside of my network... And mainly, what needs to be configured on the server-side versus the client-side (Ubuntu Server running in virtualbox vs LinuxMint OS running on laptop)

    Do I need to add the Public IP from where I am connecting outside of network ? This will always change if I am moving location to location. Or, do I add the public IP that my router is using... I do not have a static IP but I do have a DNS from namecheap. I'm not sure if this changes anything.

    When I type in user@publicIP and specify the high port, it times out. I have a feeling the server is not allowing these connections... I'm not sure what arguments to change in the config files without making my system vulnerable.
    When I ping my public IP address with the specified port it works. When I ping my subdomain pointing at my public IP it works. When I try to ssh using my Public IP, timeout.

    Lastly, I did not setup any keys yet because I am unable to get the other things working -I'll do that last because I see the importance!
    Last edited by ziegler911; February 21st, 2019 at 06:20 PM.

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