CentOS Linux 5/6: Change OpenSSH Port Number

See all Sun CentOS Linux related FAQs
I am a new CentOS Linux user. How do I change default sshd tcp port # 22 to 2022 on CentOS Linux version 5/6?

You can set or specifies the port number that sshd server listens on. The default is TCP port # 22.

Tutorial details
Difficulty level Easy
Root privileges Yes
Requirements None
Est. reading time 3 minutes

Syntax: Change SSH port on a CentOS Linux

You can use any one of the following option in /etc/ssh/sshd_config file:

Port PortNumberHere

ListenAddress IPv4Address:Port
ListenAddress IPv6Address:Port
ListenAddress Hostname:Port

If Port is not specified, sshd will listen on the address and all prior Port options specified. The default is to listen on all local IP addresses. Multiple ListenAddress options are aloowed in sshd_config.

Run ssh on a non-standard port # 2022 using Port option

Edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config, enter:
# vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config
Edit/Append as follows to set Port to 2022:
Port 2022
Save and close the file.

CentOS run ssh on a non-standard port # 2022 using ListenAddress option

Note: If you have multiple IP address on the server, try ListenAddress as follows :

## bind sshd to two ip address on a non-standard port ##

Save and close the file.

Reload SSHD service

Before you restart or reload sshd server. You need to update:

  1. SELinux configuration
  2. Firewall settings
  3. fail2ban settings

A note about OpenSSH SELinux user

If you are using SELinux, add tcp port # 2022 to port contexts for OpenSSH server:
# semanage port -a -t ssh_port_t -p tcp 2022

Update firewall settings

You also need to update firewall settings so that users can login using TCP # 2022. Edit, /etc/sysconfig/iptables and open sshd port 2022:
# vi /etc/sysconfig/iptables
Edit/append as follows:

## delete or comment out port 22 line ##
## -A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT
## open port 2022
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 2022 -j ACCEPT

Save and close the file. If you are using IPv6, edit /etc/sysconfig/ip6tables file too. Temporally, stop the firewall so that you will not loos the connectivity to the server:
# service iptables stop
# service ip6tables stop

Fail2ban settings

Fail2ban scans log files and bans IPs that show the malicious signs — too many password failures, seeking for exploits, ssh login etc. See this comment below on how to change your port number and you use fail2ban you have to update the rules.

Restart sshd on a CentOS

Type the following command to restart / reload SSHD service:
# service sshd reload

Verify new port settings with the following netstat command:
# netstat -tulpn | grep sshd

Finally, star the firewall on a CentOS Linux:
# service iptables start
## IPv6 ##
# service ip6tables start

How do I connect to ssh server on port # 2022 using ssh command?

The syntax is:

ssh -p PortNumberHere user@server-name-here 
ssh -p PortNumberHere user@server-name-here commandNameHere
ssh -p 2022 nixcraft@
ssh -p 2022 nixcraft@ df

How do I connect to ssh server on port # 2022 using scp command?

The syntax is:

scp -P PortNumberHere source user@server-name-here:/path/to/dest
scp -P 2022 resume.pdf nixcraft@nas01:/backups/personal/nixcraft/files/

How do I connect to ssh server on port # 2022 using sftp command?

The syntax is:

sftp -P PortNumberHere user@server-name-here 
sftp -P 2022 nixcraft@

How do I connect to ssh server on port # 2022 using rsync command?

The syntax is as follows to change SSH port number with rsync command:

sync -av -e 'ssh -p PORT-NUMBER-HERE' source user@server-name

So to backup /home/vivek to server1.nixcraft.net.in at port number 2022, enter:

rsync -av -e 'ssh -p 2022' /home/vivek/ backupop@server1.nixcraft.net.in

I also suggest that you can update your /.ssh/config ($HOME/.ssh/config) fileto overrides the Port settings. This will save you some time whenever you use ssh/scp/sftp command.

See also
  1. RHEL/Red Hat Change SSH Port
  2. Man pages:

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7 comments… add one
  • Sunil Bhoi Jan 21, 2014 @ 22:14


    Nice post.
    Before changing the SSH port for any server add IP of your local machine to allow list. Because there is chances to lost ssh connection to remote machine.

    Sunil Bhoi.

  • Jalal Hajigholamali Jan 22, 2014 @ 5:37

    Thanks for nice article

  • Shekhar Jul 21, 2014 @ 11:38


    Can we use different SSH Ports for different SSH Services:
    1. 22 port only for SSH Login with password
    2. 222 port only when we have ssh-keys
    3. 2222 port only for sftp

    Thanks for nice tutorial

  • Eli Oct 26, 2015 @ 22:24

    What is SSH?

  • wiserweb Dec 14, 2015 @ 23:19

    Hi Vivek,

    If you change your port and you use fail2ban you have to update the rules as follows. If you don’t update your rules fail2ban will give an error (fail2ban.actions.action: CRITICAL Unable to restore environment) and stop protecting your entire server.

    On Debian/Ubuntu the rules file to edit is located here:


    Notice the ssh-[port] syntax below that must be used for the port directive for [ssh] jail. Following the example above of using port 2022, the new rules would be updated to the following:


    Might be good if you update the article with this information for the benefit of your readers.

    • 🛡️ Vivek Gite (Author and Admin) Vivek Gite Dec 14, 2015 @ 23:45

      @wiserweb: thanks for the heads up. I’ve updated the faq to include your comment.

  • Sagar S Mar 7, 2016 @ 20:43

    How do I change default ssh22 to 2022 or any other port?

    Steps I did:
    1.Change SSH default port with /etc/ssh/sshd_config

    2.Added the following commands to run
    iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –dport 22 -j ACCEPT
    iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –dport 80 -j ACCEPT
    iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –dport 443 -j ACCEPT
    iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –dport 110 -j ACCEPT
    iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –dport 465 -j ACCEPT
    iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –dport 143 -j ACCEPT
    iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –dport 993 -j ACCEPT
    iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –dport 587 -j ACCEPT
    iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –dport 25 -j ACCEPT
    iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –dport 995 -j ACCEPT
    iptables -A INPUT -m state –state RELATED,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
    iptables -A INPUT -j REJECT
    iptables -A FORWARD -j REJECT

    3.Saved the iptables

    4.Updated firewall settings for new port by
    deleting this
    iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –dport 22 -j ACCEPT
    adding this
    -A INPUT -m state –state NEW -m tcp -p tcp –dport 2022 -j ACCEPT

    4.Restarted iptables

    5.Restarted ssh service

    Then if I try to login using 22ssh it gives me connection timeout.
    The same I try to do with 2022ssh it also gives me connection timeout.

    Kindly help.

    Much Thanks in advance.

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