How to SSH into Ubuntu LiveCD

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The ability to remotely SSH into a machine running an Ubuntu LiveCD can come in handy in many situations. The LiveCD supports a large variety of hardware and can be used to troubleshoot system problems on a machine where you have limited or no access. A user with limited skills can easily setup remote access and allow a trusted friend to troubleshoot the system from another location.

The first thing to start the process is to open a terminal. Follow these menus:

Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal

In the terminal install the ssh server on your LiveCD system.

The server is started automatically after installing.

To login remotely, you’ll need to set the password for the default ubuntu user.

You should now be able to login to the system running the LiveCD. But first you need to find the IP address of the machine so you can connect to it.

The ifconfig command will list your network interfaces and along with it your IP address.

The inet addr entry is your IP address which you need to log into the LiveCD system. As you an see above the IP address begins with “192.168” which indicates that the IP address is only valid on the local network. It was an address assigned to the machine by the router. This is fine if you plan on logging in from another machine on this local network.

If you need to access the machine from outside your local network you have a couple of options. The first is to remove any router between you and the Internet. This should give you a valid IP address which is accessible from outside your local network. You may also be able to access your router’s administration panel and tell it to pass SSH traffic to the IP address of the LiveCD system. You will then use the router’s IP address instead for the next step.

If your IP address already begins with something other than “192.168” then you are safe as well. You should be able to access the LiveCD system from any location, local or not.

Using the IP address from the previous step you can now log into the LiveCD system as the ubuntu user. Use the password you created earler.

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  • Pavel

    Great stuff. Going to try it out tomorrow. Hope it helps.
    Just one remark: local IP doesn’t necessary start with “192.168” only.
    10.0.0.0 can be a local network as well. You might want to use some different tool for determination of the IP being local or not.

  • heltonbiker

    This helped me a lot. By the way, the perfect example where GUI sucks and CLI saves the day

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  • Chris

    Useless unless your box is on the internet – so frustrating that the DVD with everything it needs is in the drive, but you can’t use it to start SSH…