Verified and Tested 08/31/15

Introduction

Remote administration has become more popular, than ever before. Due to the rise of virtualization and Cloud VPS Servers, it has become a necessity in many small to large scale networks. In this How-to, we will be going over the Remote Administration in FreeBSD.

Prerequisites

You need a FreeBSD server that is configured with a static IP address. If you do not have a server already, visit our page for fast and reliable Cloud Hosting and spin a new server up in under 30 seconds.

Verifying Open SSH in FreeBSD

In order for you to access your FreeBSD server remotely, we must verify that the SSH service is currently enabled. To check if SSH is enabled on your server, you can accomplish this by typing the following command:

less /etc/rc.conf

Enabling SSH in FreeBSD

If Open SSH is not enabled on your server, you could enable it by first opening the /etc/rc.conf file:

vi/etc/rc.conf

 Than locate the sshd_enable line and set sshd_enable to YES.

sshd_enable="YES"

Starting Open SSH in FreeBSD

After making the above change, we need to make sure that SSH is enabled and running. Start it with the following command:

/etc/rc.d/sshd start

Stopping Open SSH in FreeBSD

If you wish to stop the Open SSH service, you could accomplish this with the following command:

/etc/rc.d/sshd stop

Restarting Open SSH  in FreeBSD

If you would like to restart the Open SSH service, you could accomplish this with the following command:

/etc/rc.d/sshd restart

Allowing Root Login in FreeBSD

To access your server using the root user, we must make sure that this is allowable in the Open SSH configuration file. Using your vi text editor open up the sshd_config configuration file with the following command:
vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config
With the sshd_config configuration file open, locate the line that reads “PermitRootLogin” and make sure that its set to yes.
PermitRootLogin yes
Once you have completed this, save your changes and restart the service with the following command:
/etc/rc.d/sshd restart

Testing OpenSSH in FreeBSD

If you are using the a Linux server to remote into your FreeBSD server, you can accomplish this with the following command replacing the IP address with the IP of your FreeBSD server.

ssh [email protected]
In like many Linux systems out there, the default Open SSH port is 22. However, this can be changed in the sshd_config configuration file to anything you want(I will be using my custom port 1050). To successfully accomplish this task,  you will have to add a -p followed by the custom port.
ssh [email protected] -p 1050

If you are using the a Windows system to remote into your FreeBSD server, you will need to download a 3rd party SSH client. Putty is the most common Open SSH Windows Client and could be downloaded here. There are 3 things that you need to have in mind. The Host Name (IP address) section where your FreeBSD server’s IP will go, the Port section where by default is set to 22(it can be changed to your custom port also) and the Connection type section where SSH must be selected. Below is a screen shot of how the putty interface looks like.

This is the Putty interface when using SSH in a Windows System

This is the Putty interface when using SSH in a Windows System

Copying Files Securely FreeBSD

Since security is a big concern nowadays, FreeBSD had a built-in feature that allows you to securely copy files from a private or public network using encryption. This feature is called SCP! There is a similar tool for use on Windows systems called WinSCP, make sure to check it out as well!

Our first task is to copy a file from a remote location to my local root directory. Give it a try with the following command where Remote IP=10.50.2.10, Remote File=myremote.file and /root/ being your local root directory.

scp [email protected]:/root/myremote.file /root/
Our second task is to copy a file from a remote location to your current directory. Give it a try with the following command where Remote IP=10.50.2.10, Remote File=myremote.file and ./ being your current directory.
scp [email protected]:/root/myremote.file ./
Alternatively, if you are using a custom port, simply add the -P 1050 after scp to put the file in your current directory.
scp -P 1050 [email protected]:/root/myremote.file ./

Copying Directories Securely in FreeBSD

TO copy a directory from a remote location to your local root directory. Give it a try with the following command where -r =Directory variable, Remote IP=10.50.2.10, Remote File=myremotedb and /root/ being your local root directory. How to copy a directory from another client to your machine

scp -r [email protected]:/root/myremotedb /root/
Alternatively, if you want to accomplish the same task with a custom port, then you could complete this with the following command:
scp-rP 8000 [email protected]:/root/myremotedb /root/

Copying Remote Files Securely in FreeBSD

If you want to copy a file from another system into yours, you can accomplish this with the following command. To understand the command, Remote File=myremote.file, Remote IP=10.50.2.10 and /root/ being your local root directory.

scp myremote.file [email protected]:/root/
Alternatively, if you want to accomplish the same task with a custom port, then you could complete this with the following command:
scp -P 8000 database.backup [email protected]:/root/
Furthermore, if you would like to copy multiple files from a remote location, then you could complete this with the following command adding each file separated with a space.
scp myremote.file myremote.file2 [email protected]:/root/

Copying Remote Directories Securely in FreeBSD

To copy a directory from another system into yours, you can accomplish this with the following command. To understand the command -r = Directory variable, Remote Directory=myremotedb, Remote IP=10.50.2.10 and /root/ being your local root directory.
scp -r myremotedb [email protected]:/root/
Alternatively, if you want to accomplish the same task with a custom port, then you could complete this with the following command:
scp -rP 8000 myremotedb [email protected]:/root/

What next?

Congratulations! This completes this tutorial on FreeBSD Remote Administration. I hope that you find this information useful just like it was to me. Thank you for following along this how-to! Check back with us for further updates and, try a reliable cloud server solution from Atlantic.Net.