Recovering from losing all ssh access Ubuntu 16.04

So I managed to lock myself out of my own computer.

I installed mysecureshell and didn’t realize that it disables shell access, which was my only way to control the machine.

So what did I do?

  1. Recover the root password
    1. Boot into recovery mode
      1. Restart Ubuntu and when the Grub menu comes up
      2. Select Ubuntu “Advanced options”
      3. Then select “Drop to root shell prompt”
    2. Remount /
      mount -rw -o remount /
    3. Reset password
      sudo passwd
    4. Reboot
  2. Re-enable SSH
    1. Now you should be able to ssh remotely as root.  So ssh into the machine as root and provide the password
    2. vi /etc/ssh/sftp_config
    3. under the <Default> section make sure that you have the following
      Shell                   /bin/bash
    4. Restart mysecureshell
      service mysecureshell restart

When mysecureshell disables shell on Ubuntu 16.04…

When I installed mysecureshell to setup sftp for my Ubuntu 16.04 server, it decided to do a lot of other things like…disable ssh access.

I don’t know why they don’t tell you this in screaming caps to begin with.

But a quick look at the Shell directive ( reveals that indeed if you install mysecureshell, it will turn it off by default.

I’m not necessarily opposed to that as a practice but they should make that really obvious as it took me quite some time to figure out what it was that made mysecureshell turn it off in the first place.

I installed mysecureshell via apt-get and configure sftp but then suddenly I got:

$ ssh user@server
Welcome to Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS (GNU/Linux 4.4.0-59-generic x86_64)

 * Documentation:
 * Management:
 * Support:

22 packages can be updated.
0 updates are security updates.

Last login: Thu Feb 2 01:27:02 2017 from
Shell access is disabled !Connection to server closed.

What gives?  I didn’t change SSH access…I added SFTP.  Or did I?  So yes, installing mysecureshell will in fact disable SSH access by default.

Adding the directive

Shell /bin/bash

to the <Default> parent tag will re-enable ssh access.

How to set up a git commit message template

  1. Create a template in your user directory. Name the file .gitmessage
    vi ~/.gitmessage
  2. Add the following as your template:
     [commit message title]
     Test Plan:
  3. Then set it as part of your global configuration:
    git config —global commit.template = ~/.gitmessage