Changing SSH and XRDP ports in a Azure Linux virtual machine


A basic safety recommendation is to change the default connection ports of a system for the various available communications services. Let’s see how to change the ssh and xrdp ports on a Azure Linux virtual machine.

Change ssh port

Immediately after creating the virtual machine, the default port is 22. You can connect to the machine through its public IP or DNS with a client like Putty through that port. Edit the configuration file with nano for example:

sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config

And we change where it says port 22 by the value we want (eg I put 40167):


Now to restart the ssh service, run:

sudo service ssh restart

We close the remote session that we are running, that still go through the port 22. Now we need to edit the security rule in the control panel of the virtual machine to reflect the change in port. To do this, we look for the machine in our Azure subscription, for example, in my case it is called f23uh4733:


Click on the entry safety rules option:


And we double click on the current rule for port 22:


And you must modify the value of the port 22 to port defined in the configuration file:


Pressing save after modification. The rule will take a few seconds to be applied.

Installing a remote desktop and xrdp port change

Now we will install a remote desktop. This will be necessary if Linux is a server image for example. Keep in mind that xrdp since Ubuntu 12.04LTS does not support Gnome Desktop, so we’ll use xfce.

First we install xrdp, executing the following command at the terminal:

sudo apt-get install xrdp


After the installation of xrdp, we must install xfce, running the command:

sudo apt-get install xfce4


The next step is to configure xrdp to use xfce. Run the following command:

echo xfce4-session >~/.xsession


Once installed the desktop, we will change the default port for remote connection. We use an editor, for example nano, to modify the xrdp configuration file. Run the command:

sudo nano /etc/xrdp/xrdp.ini

And modify the port with the desired value, in this case for example the port 40168:


We record the changes and restart the xrdp service to take effect, using the following command:

sudo service xrdp restart


Once you have configured the port, as before, we need to create the security rule that allows us to access. To do this we return to the list of rules of entry, and click the add button:


And we add a rule indicating the destination port that we have set in the previous step:


Press save button and wait for the rule to apply. After, we can open a remote desktop connection to the machine by the port:


We have to identify us with a UNIX user. If you have not created any, the administrator user serve us:


And we access the Linux desktop machine:



Azure VM’s public direction

Each virtual machine we deploy in Azure, by default, has assigned a public IP, through which we can access it. You can later modify both access ports as restrict, in certain cases, public access.

IP and DNS of a virtual machine

To access the public IP of a virtual machine created in ARM model, open the panel of the machine from the list of virtual machines:


In the main panel the public IP appears, and if it was configured, your DNS. If the DNS appears undefined, you can specify one by clicking on the link:


In the Public IP panel, we can see the address and easily copy both IP and DNS.


If you click Settings, you will access to specific IP options. We can establish a static IP to the virtual machine (default is dynamic) and define a DNS domain within our geographic region domain:


Una vez guardados los cambios, en segundos que se habían aplicado y estarán a disposición del público.



Creating a Linux VM in Azure

Within the Azure marketplace we have multiple images ready to deploy. Among them are several distributions of Linux created by several companies, with several preinstalled packages if necessary.

Creating a Linux virtual machine

Let’s see the entire process of provisioning a virtual machine (IaaS) with an image of Canonical Ubuntu Server 15.10.

Step 1

We entered our Azure subscription and click on virtual machines:


Step 2

Click on add new virtual machine:


Step 3

We search and select the image Ubuntu Ubuntu Server 15.10 Canonical:


Step 4

The description of the VM image is showed, and we can choose whether we want in classic mode or resource manager. We will choose resource manager. You can see the differences on this link. Press create to start the process of provision:


Step 5

Now, you can fill the basic data of the virtual machine, with special attention to the geographical area of deployment and the resource group to which to assign. Select the location closest to where you want to give the service or one where you have all your virtual data center.

With regard to the resource group, remember that everything you bring inside will not restart simultaneously in the mantenimience operations, so its use is for high availability situations.

In this step you will define the root user and password, so please assure that the data is correct.

After filling all press accept.


Step 6

You must now select the size, which defines the cost of the machine. Choose the one you needed depending on the estimated use. The DS series, with SSDs are suitable for LAMP services for example.


Step 7

In this step you will configure additional options, such as network, storage type and others. When you finish, please press accept. If you do not yet know these concepts in Azure, the default options will be fine to start.


Step 8

A summary of the process is presented and a final confirmation is requested. If all is well, press accept and begin to supply the machine. If not, you can go back to correct it.

Creación VM Ubuntu

In the notification area you will have a notice of the process progress, as well in the main panel.

Once the deployment is complete, which may take about 5 to 10 minutes, you can connect via SSH with a client like Putty, using the public IP of the machine and against port 22, with root user that was defined in the basic options in step 5.

However this default setting is not the safest. In a next post we will see how to change the default ports and install a desktop for remote access. Later we will see how to configure the server to make a LAMP stack.