Compile and install


sslh uses:

  • libconfig. For Debian this is contained in package libconfig8-dev. You can compile with or without it using USELIBCONFIG in the Makefile.

  • libwrap. For Debian, this is contained in packages libwrap0-dev. You can compile with or without it using USELIBWRAP in the Makefile.

  • libsystemd, in package libsystemd-dev. You can compile with or without it using USESYSTEMD in the Makefile.

  • libcap, in package libcap-dev. You can compile with or without it using USELIBCAP in the Makefile

  • libbsd, to enable to change the process name (as shown in ps, so each forked process shows what protocol and what connection it is serving), which requires libbsd at runtime, and libbsd-dev at compile-time.

For OpenSUSE, these are contained in packages libconfig9 and libconfig-dev in repository

For Fedora, you’ll need packages libconfig and libconfig-devel:

yum install libconfig libconfig-devel

If you want to rebuild sslh-conf.c (after a make distclean for example), you will also need to add conf2struct (v1.5) to your path.


After this, the Makefile should work:

make install

There are a couple of configuration options at the beginning of the Makefile:

  • USELIBWRAP compiles support for host access control (see hosts_access(3)), you will need libwrap headers and library to compile (libwrap0-dev in Debian).

  • USELIBCONFIG compiles support for the configuration file. You will need libconfig headers to compile (libconfig8-dev in Debian).

  • USESYSTEMD compiles support for using systemd socket activation. You will need systemd headers to compile (systemd-devel in Fedora).

  • USELIBBSD compiles support for updating the process name (as shown by ps).


The Makefile produces two different executables: sslh-fork and sslh-select:

  • sslh-fork forks a new process for each incoming connection. It is well-tested and very reliable, but incurs the overhead of many processes.
    If you are going to use sslh for a “small” setup (less than a dozen ssh connections and a low-traffic https server) then sslh-fork is probably more suited for you.

  • sslh-select uses only one thread, which monitors all connections at once. It is more recent and less tested, but only incurs a 16 byte overhead per connection. Also, if it stops, you’ll lose all connections, which means you can’t upgrade it remotely.
    If you are going to use sslh on a “medium” setup (a few thousand ssh connections, and another few thousand ssl connections), sslh-select will be better.

If you have a very large site (tens of thousands of connections), you’ll need a vapourware version that would use libevent or something like that.


  • In general:

      cp sslh-fork /usr/local/sbin/sslh
      cp basic.cfg /etc/sslh.cfg
              vi /etc/sslh.cfg
  • For Debian:

      cp scripts/etc.init.d.sslh /etc/init.d/sslh
  • For CentOS:

      cp scripts/etc.rc.d.init.d.sslh.centos /etc/rc.d/init.d/sslh

You might need to create links in /etc/rc.d so that the server start automatically at boot-up, e.g. under Debian:

update-rc.d sslh defaults