[CentOS] Problem with SSHD update.

James B. Byrne byrnejb at harte-lyne.ca
Mon Sep 13 11:01:15 EDT 2010

This morning I applied the 13 or so new updates to my servers.  On
one of them the ssh service and clients stopped working immediately
after the update.  I restarted the server in anticipation that there
might be some instability introduced by updating on a system with
active ssh connections.  However, this has not cleared the problem.

The packages in question are:
  openssh.i386         0:4.3p2-41.el5_5.1
  openssh-askpass.i386 0:4.3p2-41.el5_5.1
  openssh-clients.i386 0:4.3p2-41.el5_5.1
  openssh-server.i386  0:4.3p2-41.el5_5.1

The error I am getting when attempting to start the sshd service is

Starting sshd: Auto configuration failed
6486:error:0E065068:configuration file routines:STR_COPY:variable
has no value:conf_def.c:629:line 207

Can anyone reading this inform me as to what this means, what the
likely cause is, and how it may be repaired?  I have webmin access
to the server and, as it is inside our firewall I can probably
enable telnet to get a terminal window do carry out modifications.
But I need to know what it is that I need to modify.

Alternatively, can anyone point me to a reference regarding removing
the current version of openssh and reverting to the prior version,
which worked with presumably the same user configuration that the
present version does not accept.  The only references that I can
find respecting this error message are all several years old and
some of them suggest that their is a problem with accessing or using
/dev/random or /dev/urandom.

This matter is somewhat urgent.  I have temporarily routed essential
ssh connections through a spare host but the box affected sits in
front of our legacy systems providing secure access to them as their
native OSs and telecom protocols do not support encryption.  It is
very important that the SSHD service be restored on this host as
soon as is possible.

Any help with this is gratefully appreciated.

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James B. Byrne                mailto:ByrneJB at Harte-Lyne.ca
Harte & Lyne Limited          http://www.harte-lyne.ca
9 Brockley Drive              vox: +1 905 561 1241
Hamilton, Ontario             fax: +1 905 561 0757
Canada  L8E 3C3

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