Dropbear fails to start

I have a GL-AR300M router that I have so far been happy with. Now that I want to do more with it, I have been attempting to gain SSH access to the router.

In the Luci GUI, under System -> Administration -> SSH Access, I have interface 'LAN' selected. However, in the system log, I see:

Fri May 11 20:37:37 2018 authpriv.info dropbear[6997]: Early exit: Terminated by signal
Fri May 11 20:37:37 2018 authpriv.info dropbear[7289]: Not backgrounding

Whenever I set dropbear to listen on the LAN or WAN interface (no, I'm not stupid enough to configure it to listen on the WLAN interface) and 'save and apply' changes I get these two log entries.

Needless to say, SSH connections to the router from inside the network are refused. How do I troubleshoot this to get SSH access to my router?

Usually when a daemon terminates itself after booting, it's due to a configuration error in the daemon's config. Check /etc/config/dropbear & /etc/dropbear/authorized_keys for syntax/formatting errors or the wrong EOLs if you modified either on a Windows or Mac PC (BSD/Linux utilizes LF, Mac: CR [even though its BSD based], Windows: CRLF).

  • If your device has >8MB of ROM, utilize OpenSSH, as it's much more customizable and secure.

As to SSH over WiFi, there's no risk there that I'm aware of.