I had a custom port by using the "Port" line in /etc/sshd_config. After updating to Mac OS X 10.12.4 I found I could no longer connect on the custom port - instead it was listening on port 22. I found that my sshd_config had apparently been renamed to sshd_config~previous, so I moved it back to the correct spot and restarted sshd from the command line using sudo launchctl stop com.openssh.sshd; sudo launchctl start com.openssh.sshd. However, after the restart sshd was still listening on port 22. I then opened System Preferences and under sharing clicked on "Remote Login". Running `netstat -a -n" showed that port 22 was no longer being listened to. I then click on "Remote Login" to restart sshd, and then found sshd was still listening on port 22, not my custom port.

In /var/log/apache2 I see an empty access_log on startup, and error_log contains the normal startup message. No clues there.

How do I get sshd to listen on my custom port again?


I found the answer here and it appears to also apply for upgrading to Sierra from a pre-el capitan version of OS X.

To summarize:

sudo cp /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ssh.plist /Library/LaunchDaemons/ssh2.plist

Edit /Library/LaunchDaemons/ssh2.plist and change the lines that read:




And change the lines that read:


by replacing "ssh" with whatever port you want to use.

Then start the new port with:

sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/ssh2.plist

As noted in the article, this doesn't eliminate ssh running on port 22. In my case that was okay - the main reason for running on the new port was to match the port ssh was visible at outside the firewall.

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  • To stop sshd answering on port 22, enter: /usr/bin/sudo launchctl unload /Library/LaunchDaemons/ssh.plist. – dan Jul 9 '17 at 17:25

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