I want to be able to SSH into my Mac, but it's disabled in System Preferences (Sharing --> Remote Connections, I believe). The administrator disabled this, and I'm looking for a way to re-enable it without an admin password. Is there a way I can re-install SSH to enable it, or something along those lines?

2 Answers 2


Not easily and you may be running afoul of policy if you are circumventing the access policies of a computer to which you are not supposed to be modifying the security stance.

If you were to run sshd in your user space, you will need to use a port higher than 1024 and also hope that the firewall and network will allow you to accept inbound traffic on the port you chose.

Here is a decent article on how you would do this with admin permissions. It's not a perfect fit for Mac OS - but should give you a feel for what the issues are in your quest to set up sshd.

Also, netcat.

  • Thanks, I'll check that out. I use this machine on my own network 90% of the time (and would be using ssh on my network 100% of the time), and I have complete control of the machine's firewall. The admin doesn't really care what I do, they are just stubborn and refuse to type the password for fear of keyloggers, since the admin account's password is the same on over 30000 machines they administrate.
    – tkbx
    Commented Jun 2, 2012 at 17:47
  • Perfect - you can be quite secure with ssh so if you intend to use it regularly, that's the way to go over nc. Happy times ahead.
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 2, 2012 at 17:58
  • Also, the admin might be more inclined to cut you an ssh key to use on your Mac once you've proven your ability to not mess things up. Good that you're aware and can look to live with the larger picture. Sometimes, you just run with what ya brung.
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 2, 2012 at 18:01

It's possible:


dseditgroup -o edit -n /Local/Default -u localadmin -p -a username -t user com.apple.access_ssh


dseditgroup -o edit -n /Local/Default -u localadmin -p -a groupname -t group com.apple.access_ssh

Make sure to insert your local admin's short name (localadmin) and the user (username) or group (groupname) you're trying to add.

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