SSH-7412 - SSH permit root login

This information is provided as part of the Lynis community project. It is related to Lynis control SSH-7412 and should be considered as-is and without guarantees. Any advice and commands should be tested before implementing them in production environments.

Control details


For proper authorization purposes, do not use direct root logins. Doing so, may result in actions being performed by administrators without any traceability. Also using root permissions directly might increase the risk of intrusion or availability. (e.g. brute force attacks on the password, account lockout)Unless the owner of each key is traceable, public key authentication can be considered.

How to solve

Disable direct root login via the shell script. Option 1: Implement sudo Option 2: Implement public key authentication with proper traceability.

Additional resources

Need more details?

Consider the upgrade to Lynis Enterprise to receive additional details and guidance. The Enterprise version helps to you with daily health checks of your environment, learn in-depth system hardening, and resources to protect your systems better.

See demo


Lynis is a technical security auditing tool for Unix flavors like Linux, macOS, AIX, Solaris, and *BSD. It is open source software and free to use. Typical usage include system hardening, compliance testing, and vulnerability scanning. The project has an active community, including development via GitHub.

Lynis Enterprise

Do you need to collect data from multiple systems or compliance reporting? Lynis Enterprise uses Lynis to collect the data and make your work easier.

Benefits: automate security audits, detailed reporting, compliance testing.

  • Centralized management
  • Improvement plan with priorities
  • Reporting
  • Dashboards
  • Predefined policies
  • Integration (API)
  • Improvement snippets for tools like Ansible, Chef, Cfengine, Puppet, and SaltStack
Take the Tour