I'm interested in getting SSH running over Amateur Radio, which has a strict ban against encryption for obscuring communications. Authentication (ie RSA signatures) is fine though.

Reading ssh(1) and ssh_config(5) I can find info on how to change between ciphers, but I just want to disable the cipher part of SSH completely, leaving it sent as plain text.

2 Answers 2


You can re-compile the sshd with the "none" cipher support. more info is availabe here: https://serverfault.com/a/606367/345479

  • 1
    Please quote the essential parts of the answer from the reference link(s), as the answer can become invalid if the linked page(s) change.
    – DavidPostill
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 15:10

No, you can't. The point of SSH is that it is Secure Shell. If you don't want to use encryption, use rsh or telnet (as it was used decades ago), but note that they are not safe and anyone in between can read your passwords or whatever you send over this channel.

Authentication using RSA only is not possible with the above mentioned protocols, but that would not help you. Still anyone on the way would be able to intercept your communication and play the man in the middle attack.

As a bottom line, no, this is not advised to do in today world, to run something unencrypted. If you really have to, you need to count with that it can be (or just is) compromised.

  • SSH has some features that the Telnet doesn't. So it makes sense to support the none cipher. Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 13:42

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