To get full control over your N900 what would by easier than have SSH (root)access.


If you have the Maemo Extra repository enabled and already installed rootsh the only thing we have to do is search for a package named openssh. This is a meta package which contains both client and server. We install this package and it will ask us to choose a root password. After setting this password the installation is finished. We now should be able to login with that password:

client: ssh root@

Nokia-N900-42-11:~# ssh -v
OpenSSH_5.1p1  Debian-6.maemo5, OpenSSL 0.9.8g 19 Oct 2007

For extra security we could choose not to allow password authentication, but only publickey. To configure this on Debian/Ubuntu have a look at this article. What we do is:

  • Install the ssh client
    client: apt-get install openssh-client
  • Generate the key-pair, a public-key and a private-key
    client: ssh-keygen -t rsa
  • Copy the public key to the server (in this case the N900)
    client: ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa root@
  • See if you can login without entering a password
    client: ssh root@
  • If so, disable password authentication
    server: cd /etc/ssh
            cp sshd_config sshd_config.orig
            vi sshd_config

    and change PasswordAuthentication yes to PasswordAuthentication no

  • Restart the SSH server
    server: /etc/init.d/ssh restart


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