Can login using root password, but not remotely with SSH

James jamesh at
Mon Oct 22 08:01:13 PDT 2007

On Mon, 2007-10-22 at 02:21 -0500, W. D. wrote:

> Brand new install of FreeBSD 6.2.  Can't log in with PuTTY.
> Remote PuTTY:
> Access denied Using keyboard-interactive authentication. 
> At computer terminal:
> PAM authentication error for root from 192.168.XXX.XXX 
> Any ideas?
> Thanks!

Root logins via ssh are disabled by default.

Change this in /etc/ssh/<whichever ssh config file it is>

OR you could alternately decide that root logins are *the spawn of
satan's loins* via ssh, and do something different. Specifically, if you
add your local user account to the wheel group then you can su to root.

vi /etc/groups

Add yourself to wheel (which is the root group on FreeBSD, a name I
believe it inherited from earlier BSDs, but I've no idea what the
justification for choosing 'wheel' is; any BSD historians here - you'd
be welcome to let us know!)


If you need root logins for something like a running process that wants
to communicate via several computers as root, then I assume that:
a) your program's broken ;)
b) you wouldn't be using putty.

So just add yourself to wheel and let the good times roll.


More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list