I have the SSH server listening on my IP address in the guest machine (debian2)

edarabos@debian2:~$ telnet 22
Connected to
Escape character is '^]'.
SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_5.5p1 Debian-6
telnet> close
Connection closed.

I can reach the host OS with ping.

edarabos@debian2:~$ ping -c 1
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from icmp_req=1 ttl=128 time=0.243 ms

--- ping statistics ---
1 packets transmitted, 1 received, 0% packet loss, time 0ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.243/0.243/0.243/0.000 ms

The host computer provides me with fine NAT (which I really need):

edarabos@debian2:~$ ssh computer.faraway.hu
                  !!! UTF-8 !!!                0mm
#######     ########## ##########  #########################
edarabos@computer.faraway.hu's password:
Linux computer 2.6.32-5-amd64 #1 SMP Tue Jun 14 09:42:28 UTC 2011 x86_64
You have mail.
Last login: Thu Sep  1 14:33:27 2011 from
 16:13:49 up 2 days, 21:14,  5 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.02, 0.00

(edited for privacy)

My interface and routing configuration:

edarabos@debian2:~$ /sbin/ifconfig eth0 | grep "inet addr"
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
edarabos@debian2:~$ /sbin/route -n
Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags Metric Ref    Use Iface   U     0      0        0 eth0         UG    0      0        0 eth0

When I try to use PuTTY to SSH to the guest OS ( I get "Network error: Connection refused.". Doing tcpdump -vv on the guest shows nothing when trying. It shows things when I SSH out to computer.faraway.hu.

The host is Win 7 32bit, VMWare Workstation 7.1.1. The guest is Debian Squeeze with non-tweaked kernel 2.6.32.

Google did not helped and I'm out of ideas.


I have a Cygwin on my Windows host and I have SSH on it which says:

$ ssh -vvv
OpenSSH_5.8p1, OpenSSL 0.9.8r 8 Feb 2011
debug1: Reading configuration data /home/edarabos/.ssh/config
debug2: ssh_connect: needpriv 0
debug1: Connecting to [] port 22.
debug1: connect to address port 22: Connection refused
ssh: connect to host port 22: Connection refused


Using telnet from host to guest:

C:\Users\edarabos>telnet 22
Connecting To not open connection to the host, on port 22: Connect failed

Also, firewall service is not running on host. On the guest iptables -L is empty and all policy is ACCEPT.


I also configured a host-only VMnet and added a network interface to the guest accordingly. This interface (eth1) gets a proper IP address from the DHCP server on that VMnet. When I try to PuTTY from the host to that IP adress I get connection timeout. I also cannot ping the guest from the host.

I installed another guest with the same settings (cloned the first one). I can do SSH between the two guests. (The IPs of guests on that network are and

  • What port are you trying to connect to with PuTTY's SSH? 22 is clearly a working OpenSSH listener, so connection refusal doesn't add up. – Shane Madden Sep 1 '11 at 14:47
  • To port 22, I agree. :-( – Notinlist Sep 1 '11 at 15:00
  • What does ssh with the "-v" option say? – cjc Sep 1 '11 at 16:10
  • I have Windows on the host, but fortunately I have a Cygwin under it. Updated the post. – Notinlist Sep 2 '11 at 8:36
  • I believe that the telnet command you ran and showed us the output of was run from inside the Guest. Could you test that from the host to ensure the host can get to port 22 on the guest? – ayaz Sep 3 '11 at 12:36

Is sshd listening on on the guest (linux) machine? -> grep Listen /etc/ssh/sshd.conf

[forget the above]


The host OS only sees the outside interface of the NATted network, so you need to set up port forwarding to the NATted network in order to access one of the NATted hosts in that network, as there could be many hosts in there hidden behind one IP. (As is the case with any NATted network.)

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  • Why the hack don't you all read? "The host is Win 7 32bit, VMWare Workstation 7.1.1. The guest is Debian Squeeze with non-tweaked kernel 2.6.32." – Notinlist Sep 7 '11 at 11:38
  • computer.faraway.hu is a computer far away in Hungary. It does not matter. It is an example to demonstrate that the guest machine can access the Internet via NAT. To be clear: There is no such computer. See the "(edited for privacy)" note! Read! – Notinlist Sep 7 '11 at 11:40
  • Alright I edited my question. Even though I mixed your machines, the question essentially stays the same. – Marki Sep 7 '11 at 11:43
  • It is listening on all interfaces (*:ssh (LISTEN) in output of lsof). The output of your grep is two commented lines. – Notinlist Sep 7 '11 at 11:56
  • Forget my question. Oh well, I guess you should try setting up a port forwarding to the guest too, since the NATted network is hidden behind the one IP address... It's like accessing your PC at home (behind a router) from the Internet, you need to forward ports. vmware.com/support/ws55/doc/ws_net_nat_advanced.html – Marki Sep 7 '11 at 11:57

Check your firewall settings on the target server - they may be blocking port 22.

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  • Firewall service is not running on host. On the guest iptables -L is empty and all policy is ACCEPT. – Notinlist Sep 5 '11 at 13:23

Run a packet capture from the client and the server. You won't be able to see the contents of the packets, but you can see the session being setup. On the server side, verify that you see traffic from the client and that the server responds. If the server responds, verify that you get the response back from the same IP:port that you connected to. Verify IP:port combinations on both sides.

Other things to look at:

  • hosts.allow/hosts.deny
  • server logs (specifically anything relevant to SSH or client)
  • verify that sshd is binding to an IP that is accessible
  • verify netmask on both sides
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  • Can you recommend a packet capturing software that would work in such environment under Windows7? On the server (guest) side the tcpdump is silent, see the paragraph under example 4. – Notinlist Sep 7 '11 at 11:44
  • About the dotted list. #1 All default. #2 Silence. #3 See example 1 and update 3 paragraph 2. #4 On guest side they are correct. On host side: How can I do that? – Notinlist Sep 7 '11 at 11:47

What machine is running which OS? To quote from your question:

edarabos@debian2:~$ telnet 22
Connected to
Escape character is '^]'.
SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_5.5p1 Debian-6

So a Debian box (VM?) is telnetting to another Debian box (running SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_5.5p1 Debian 6)? What happened to the Windows box that you claim is the host (physical) system? I think you're telnetting from the Debian box to itself, not the host. What is the IP address of the host on the virtual LAN between guest and host?

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  • Yes. I am telnetting from the Debian box to itself. And it was my intention to say. The key is in the previous sentence that you did not quote: "I have the SSH server listening on my IP address in the guest machine (debian2)" <= Guest machine is debian2. This example just shows that the SSH server is running and listening on that IP. – Notinlist Sep 7 '11 at 8:35
  • I have two WMnets configured. One: A NAT where the gateway IP is Two: Host-only interface where there is no IP related to the host can be configured. – Notinlist Sep 7 '11 at 8:38

I was having same exact problem "connection refused" with Putty and Telnet Client to VMware Host device.

Found numerous documents to go into VMware Host settings > Configuration > Software > Security Profile. Make sure the "Firewall" allows SSH port 22 through.

However, no one pointed to the "Security Profile > Services" area above it. In there, click on Properties and START SSH service as it is set to "Manual" by default. I immediately connected after this. After Host reboot it will be turned off again which would be good security practice.

Don't forget the ARP Spoofing and other attacks exists for allowing services to listen for a specific IP address only.

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Maybe that could help other people, i was in the same situation and I disable the other network card allowed for Vmware in my windows host : Vmware network adaptator Vmnet1 etc...

And now i have the connexion on ssh.

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Try installing openssh-server. It resolved the issue for me

 sudo apt-get install openssh-server     
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  • This is not an answer to the original question. Please read the question again. OP is already using openssh ("OpenSSH_5.8p1, OpenSSL 0.9.8r 8 Feb 2011") – DavidPostill Nov 15 '14 at 16:54

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