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AWS EC2 Linux: Enable SSH password logon

Amazon AWS EC2 instances are by default secured with ssh certificates. This is great for security until you need to provide a UAT duplicate for an external user or developer. You don't want to share your certificate with them and setting up a new one is more work than this quick fix. The security isn't as important on a UAT or test system as it is on a production system so for this use case we can go for lower security.

To enable users to access we first need to set a password on the ec2-user account. It's highly recommended that you select a strong password!

sudo passwd ec2-user

Then we need to allow password only connections. We edit the ssh settings, find the line PasswordAuthentication no and change it to PasswordAuthentication yes.

sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Then we need to restart the ssh service.

sudo service sshd restart

Now you can login to you Amazon AWS EC2 instance with only a password. To secure the server again just change the PasswordAuthentication line back to no.


Amazon AWS EC2 Linux Swapfile

The Amazon EC2 Linux instances comes without swap. Sooner or later this will be a problem with service hangups or crashes as a result because you run out of memory. I found a lot of instructions on the web about how to add a swap file but no one takes the storage into concern and you may end up paying a lot for a very little performance gain. This article will guide you through swap files on Amazon EC2 linux hosts.

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