How to fix OpenWRT Failsafe mode SSH port 22: Connection refused

Problem:

You are trying to connect to your OpenWRT router in failsafe mode using SSH using ssh 192.168.1.1, but you see this error message:

ssh: connect to host 192.168.1.1 port 22: Connection refused

Solution:

First, check if you have the correct IP configuration:

  • Ensure your computer is ONLY connected to the Ethernet interface connected to OpenWRT
  • Ensure you have set the Ethernet port to the static IP 192.168.1.1 , netmask 255.255.255.0 (prefix length 24), gateway none or 192.168.1.1

Ping 192.168.1.1 to verify your IP configuration:

ping 192.168.1.1

Example output:

[email protected]:~$ ping 192.168.1.1
PING 192.168.1.1 (192.168.1.1) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1 ttl=63 time=1.20 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=2 ttl=63 time=1.35 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=3 ttl=63 time=1.14 ms

Then, try connecting again using SSH:

ssh [email protected]

If you’re still getting a

ssh: connect to host 192.168.1.1 port 22: Connection refused

you are running an old OpenWRT version. SSH in failsafe mode is only supported since OpenWRT 15.05. For older versions, useĀ telnet to connect:

telnet 192.168.1.1

and you should see a root shell:

elnet 192.168.1.1
Trying 192.168.1.1...
Connected to 192.168.1.1.
Escape character is '^]'.

 === IMPORTANT ============================
  Use 'passwd' to set your login password
  this will disable telnet and enable SSH
 ------------------------------------------


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