Installing and using OpenSSH on Tomato WRT

I fought with this issue for a long time. After getting optware installed on my various Tomato routers, I wanted to switch from dropbear to OpenSSH so that I could utilize mutifactor authentication (and various tunneling features). I still haven’t sorted out everything, but I think that this might be useful for someone and I wanted to share it.

Well, after installing OpenSSH,
(ipkg install openssh)

I could connect to the OpenSSH service (hosted on a different port from dropbear),  I would get an error about the user having expired (even if I was trying to connect from a session running on the local machine, connecting to localhost). I did a lot of digging and eventually realized that OpenSSH (living on /opt/) was trying to read /etc/shadow and /etc/passwd, but not recognizing the 0′s as “infinity.”

All I had to do was to change the syntax (kind of not fun) manually.

vi /etc/shadow

And edit the line for root, making changes at the bold areas.


The other helpful hint I want to point out for the internet, is that you can download the precompiled busybox for mips and it includes the utility passwd (so you can change passwords of accounts).

I hope this helps someone. I’ve been able to successfully ssh into my tomato wrt box on the OpenSSH service port after making these changes.

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