How to Fix “Connection Refused by Port 22” on Debian/Ubuntu.

How To Fix “Connection Refused By Port 22” On Debian/Ubuntu.

In this article we will explore different ways we can resolve the Connection Refused issue on an Ubuntu/Debian system.

Verify OpenSSH Installation

First, check if OpenSSH is installed on your system or not. The command mentioned below will verify it.

sudo apt list --installed | grep openssh-server

In case OpenSSH is not installed, we will install it by executing the following command:

sudo apt install openssh-server


Check SSH Service

Let’s now check what’s the status of the SSH service on our system. It should be active or in the running state. The reason why you are getting a connection refused error could be the inactive state of SSH on your system. Run the following command to check the status:

sudo service ssh status

The output tells us it is in the active (running state).

If your SSH service is inactive, you can start it by executing the following commands:

sudo service ssh start
sudo service ssh restart

Check SSH Server Listening Port

Before trying to connect, first, verify which port is being used by the SSH server to listen to new connections.

ssh [username]@[remoteserver IP or hostname]

Issue the following command to check on which port the OpenSSH server is listening:

sudo netstat -ltnp | grep sshd

As we can see 22 port is in use by OpenSSH to listen to connections.

In case, some other port is being used in place of 22, you will issue the command like this:

ssh -p [Port] [username]@[ip_address]


Allow SSH in Firewall

To allow the port through firewall, execute this command:

sudo ufw allow port /tcp

If a port other than 22 is being used, you will issue the command like this:

sudo ufw allow 2244/tcp

Once the rules are updated, you will get this output on the terminal:

Reload the firewall with this command to update the rules:

sudo ufw reload

Now check the status of firewall to verify if the SSH port has been allowed or not.

sudo ufw status

You will see the following message if you are using port 2244 for SSH:



In today’s guide, we discussed several reasons that could be causing the Connection refused error and several ways to resolve this issue.