I'm working on a Solaris 11.3 i86pc machine. Solaris ships an ancient version of OpenSSH and SunSSH, and they can only use RSA. I am trying to update OpenSSH.

I built and installed a modern version in /opt/ssh. I'm now trying to tell Solaris to use it. The problem is, I have not found where Solaris starts the OpenSSH daemon. I expect there's a config file or script that calls sshd but I have not been able to locate it.

Where does Solaris start the sshd daemon?

It does not appear to be started from a rc.* file (per Startup script not executing after reboot on Solaris):

# /usr/gnu/bin/grep -IR sshd /etc/rc*

And I can't get my grep of /etc to complete:

# /usr/gnu/bin/grep -IR --exclude-dir=dev sshd /etc
/etc/ssh/sshd_config:# Configuration file for sshd(1m) (see also sshd_config(4))
/etc/ssh/sshd_config:# This file is used for the SunSSH and the OpenSSH versions of the sshd(1m)
/etc/ssh/sshd_config:# Are root logins permitted using sshd.
/etc/ssh/sshd_config:# Note that sshd uses pam_authenticate(3PAM) so the root (or any other) user
<hang here>
  • If you're up to date on Solaris 11.3, it ships OpenSSH 7.5 from 2017, which is hardly ancient. If you want newer software, use the newer OS release, Solaris 11.4.
    – alanc
    Jun 2, 2019 at 2:48
  • @alanc - I'm just providing what the man page says. The sshd man page says a patched version of OpenSSL 1.2.12. I know it can only do RSA, and not Ecdsa or Ed25519. Lack of Ecdsa and Ec25519 support is why I want to upgrade.
    – jww
    Jun 2, 2019 at 3:46

1 Answer 1


Solaris 10 and later use the Service Management Facility (SMF) to start daemons. SSH is normally started by the SMF service named svc:/network/ssh:default.

Startup scripts are specified in the SMF manifest for each service - you can see what command the ssh service runs with:

# svcprop -p  start/exec svc:/network/ssh:default
/lib/svc/method/sshd\ start

For more info on SMF, see Managing System Services in Oracle Solaris 11.4.

  • Thanks @alanc. That seems to be what I was looking for.
    – jww
    Jun 2, 2019 at 3:49

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