Skip to content
Interactive script to Harden Security on a Ubuntu VPS
Branch: master
Clone or download
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.

AKcryptoGUY's Awesome Server Hardening Script

This VPS Server Hardening script is designed to be run on new VPS deployments to simplify a lot of the basic hardening that can be done to protect your server. I assimilated several design ideas from AMega's VPS hardening script which I found on Github seemingly abandoned. I am very happy to finish it.


A lot of good virtual servers get destroyed every year because they are hacked by evildoers that take advantage of unpatched exploits and simple passwords. It's frustrating that many of these hacks could have been prevented by some basic hardening. With large numbers of Linux newcomers flocking to enter the space and set up masternodes I saw a need for a simple way to secure virtual servers that would, for the most part, keep the bad guys out. It is my intent to keep this script general enough that it could be the first script run on many different types of VPS installations to prepare them for whatever use you have planned.

The following is a list of different sections of the script, which are broken up into separate functions which are called from the very end of the script.

  1. CREATE SWAP / if no swap exists, create 2 GB swap
  2. UPDATE AND UPGRADE / update operating system & pkgs
  3. INSTALL FAVORED PACKAGES / useful tools & utilities
  4. INSTALL CRYPTO PACKAGES / common crypto packages
  5. USER SETUP / add new sudo user, copy SSH keys
  6. SSH CONFIG / change SSH port, disable root login
  7. UFW CONFIG / UFW - add rules, harden, enable firewall
  8. HARDENING / before rules, secure shared memory, etc
  9. KSPLICE INSTALL / automatically update without reboot
  10. MOTD EDIT / replace boring banner with customized one
  11. RESTART SSHD / apply settings by restarting systemctl
  12. INSTALL COMPLETE / display new SSH and login info

I aggregated these steps from several different server hardening guides and selected the most effective of them to include in this script. The goal is to make something simple enough for newcomers to use while still being practical and saving time for seasoned Linux veterans. I am certainly open to suggestions and would like to keep this easy and practical to use.

If this script helps you out, please contribute some feedback. Donations are also welcome and help permit me to continue to develop this and other projects.

TRON: TLsday62mhM67Sv5G5Z5Ju66TezJuVFbiw
DOGE: DH9Sj3DQNVBaxb6kZBXc6X2MPQjbv7H6oy

Referral Links

Please use my Vultr referral link when creating your VPS account at Vultr to support my projects and build some good karma.

Digital Ocean is also very generous, and give a free credit of $100 to use while testing the site to decide if it is right for you.


SSH into your VPS and run this command to clone the Github repository and begin installation:

sudo git clone && cd vps-harden && sudo bash

The script will then walk you through each of the server hardening steps, offering prompts for feedback and other notes along the way. You really can't mess it up. I have tried.

Root Login

The script will keep a log of changes that are made to the system which you can review when it is complete. The output will also be dispalyed on the screen.

Hardening Rules

When you are finished, you'll see confirmation that the script completed setup and you will be given a list of notes about your installation. The installation log file is stored in the server's log folder at /var/log/server_hardening.log

Install Complete

I would recommend that you take a screenshot of that page and save it for later. It has important information about your setup and if you don't keep note of the settings you entered, you could find yourself locked out of your server.

Additionally, there are some additional files you can modify to suit your needs. I have listed a few of these files below along with why you might consider editing them.

SSH Configuration


Login Banner


Automatic Update Settings


Ksplice Settings


Help, Issues and Questions

I have tried to troubleshoot the script for errors and confirmed that it works with a VPS you configure on Vultr, Digital Ocean, and Be Your Own VPS. It works in all of these as long as you're using Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. I have not tested it with anything else.

Social and Contact

Follow AKcryptoGUY online:
Medium →
Twitter →
Facebook →
YouTube →

Reach out to me at akcryptoguy@ for suggestions or questions and if I helped save you some time, please send some crypto my way.

TRON: TLsday62mhM67Sv5G5Z5Ju66TezJuVFbiw
DOGE: DH9Sj3DQNVBaxb6kZBXc6X2MPQjbv7H6oy
You can’t perform that action at this time.