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Get dropbear on OpenWRT to listen on alternate port

I was looking for a way to get dropbear, the SSH server on the Linksys (running OpenWRT), to listen on an alternate port, but wasn’t able to find a configuration file.

This tip solved the problem, and another one I didn’t know I had (how to disable password authentication for remote access, but allow it for local access).

The short version, just edit


to start dropbear with the desired options (dropbear --help), and for the remote vs local access, start two instances on different ports, then set your firewall to only allow outside access to the dropbear instance that disallows password access.

And since this is my outsourced memory and I have to edit files on OpenWRT using vi, here’s a quick list of commands:

  • i before you insert anything
  • esc to get back into command mode.
  • yy from command mode, to copy the current line,
  • p to insert the copied line after the cursor.
  • :wq to write changes and quit
  • :q! to quit without writing changes, if you’ve screwed up.

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