Troubleshooting SSH: Could Not Resolve Hostname Error

Have you ever encountered an error message while connecting to a remote server? We’ll look at the SSH Could Not Resolve Hostname error message and explain its meaning and how to solve it.

The SSH Could Not Resolve Hostname server warning indicates that the server is unavailable or the hostname is not entered correctly. This error occurs when the hostname is not set up properly, or the server is down. To fix this issue, you must ensure the hostname is correct, and the server is running.

So, read on to find out what you need to know about this warning and how you can try and fix it to put it right. 

1. What is the SSH Protocol?

Secure Shell (SSH) is a web protocol that provides protected access to a remote machine over an unsecured network. It is used to securely access servers, applications, and services on the Internet or other networks.

SSH is typically used for authentication, document transfers, and shell access. It uses a client-server architecture for communication between two computers.

The client runs an SSH client application that connects to an SSH server on the virtual machine. The server runs an SSH daemon process that listens for incoming connections from the client.

To set it up, you need to use the SSH command and provide the relevant username and hostname of the remote host that you’re hoping to gain access to.

If you haven’t set the secure shell up successfully, you may see the following warning:

“SSH could not resolve hostname.”

Although it’s frustrating, it’s not the end of the world if you see this message, as there are several things you can do to try and put it right, as we explain in what remains of this article.

2. What Does “SSH Could Not Resolve Hostname” Mean?

When trying to interface with a server via SSH, the user may encounter a warning that says, “SSH Could Not Resolve Hostname.”

The hostname is a unique name assigned to each computer within the web infrastructure.

It can be used instead of an IP address when joining a server over SSH. This means that the PC could not locate the IP address associated with the hostname.

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If the PC is unable to resolve the hostname, it will not be able to gain access. To repair this issue, the user should make sure their DNS settings are accurate and that they can ping the hostname.

However, the warning might also be due to typographical inaccuracies that have been input.

As a result, you will need to check this manually, and you may need to re-write it, as explained below.

3. How to Check for Typographical Faults?

One of the first things to check for when troubleshooting this issue is to look for any typographical inaccuracies you have made. Some developers may mistakenly type the wrong IP address, resulting in a warning message.

SSH software is particularly picky when it comes to the presentation of information, so you need to check that you’re directing it to the right resource. So, be sure to check for any typographical inaccuracies and amend accordingly.

At this stage, you should also check the hosts’ document, as this could inadvertently point SSH in the wrong direction, which is another reason why the above warning is now showing on your screen.

4. How to Fix the SSH Warning Message?

Once you’ve checked your access point and are sure that you haven’t made any typographical inaccuracies, the next thing to look at is how you’re using the SSH, which can also lead to the appearance of a warning message.

Crucially, you need to make sure that you are using an accurate command to direct the SSH accordingly and the relevant code is as follows:

Ssh -p 22 user@IP ADDRESS

This will help most people get into the server using SSH.

However, if you still need access, check that your host’s documents are configured appropriately, as already mentioned.

In other words, you need to use your technical know-how to ascertain the root cause of the issue, as several potential problems with the server can cause it.

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5. Where to Go for Further Help?

As you can see by the potential repairs, technical know-how might be necessary for removing the warning from your screen, and if you’re not comfortable with coding and need more technical expertise, you might need to reach out for help.

You can contact an online technician to help diagnose the problem and check that the coding is accurate.

As a Linux issue, it makes sense to begin your search on Linux forums, where you can get in contact with an engineer to help you.

Of course, if you have technical knowledge, it’s a matter of retracing your steps, checking for typographical inaccuracies, and ensuring that the host file is properly set up.

Provided that you follow these steps, you should be able to remove the warning and press ahead with your application as planned.


In some cases, this flaw can also occur due to issues with the DNS server or incorrect setup of the SSH terminal. If you have access to the server or web settings, you can try checking the DNS settings and ensure that the hostname is appropriately set up.

Another possible solution is to try using the internet address instead of the hostname to see if access can be established. This can help identify if the issue is related to the hostname resolution.

If none of these solutions work, it’s important to seek assistance from a technical expert who can troubleshoot the issue further and provide a solution. They will be able to investigate the root cause of the problem and provide the necessary steps to resolve it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does “SSH Could Not Resolve Hostname” mean?

A: This issue indicates that the SSH terminal could not locate the hostname specified for the network it was attempting to interface with. It could be due to an issue with the DNS lookup or the determined hostname not being known within the infrastructure.

Q: What log files can I check for troubleshooting the “SSH Could Not Resolve Hostname” issue?

A: You can check the system records or specific SSH logs on the net and user side to gather more information about the hostname mapping failure and any related problems.

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Q: What are the common causes of “SSH Could Not Resolve Hostname”?

A: This issue could be caused by DNS lookup issues, incorrect hostname configuration, or connectivity problems. It could also be related to the SSH node not being able to locate the determined hostname to an internet address.

Q: How do I specify the correct hostname for SSH connection on Ubuntu?

A: You can determine the proper hostname for SSH connections in the SSH config file located in /etc/ssh/ directory on Ubuntu. Edit the /etc/ssh/ssh_config file to set the appropriate Host or HostName parameter.

Q: Is there a specific solution for the “SSH Could Not Resolve Hostname” issue on macOS?

A: On macOS, you can check the DNS config and the /etc/hosts document to ensure the proper resolution of hostnames. You may also need to verify the SSH config and the determined hostname in the SSH command.

Q: How can I troubleshoot the “SSH Could Not Resolve Hostname” error when connecting within an intranet?

A: When encountering this issue within a localhost, check the local DNS server or the router’s DNS config to ensure proper hostname mapping. You may also consider using the internet address directly for SSH links within the intranet.

Q: Can the “SSH Could Not Resolve Hostname” error be related to the SSH client’s cache?

A: Yes, this issue could be related to a buffered entry in the SSH client’s configuration. Try clearing the SSH client’s cache or refreshing the DNS temporary storage to see if it resolves the hostname correctly.

Q: How do I create a new SSH key for resolving “SSH Could Not Resolve Hostname”?

A: You can generate a new SSH key using the ssh-keygen tool and then add it to your GitHub account or the target host’s authorized_keys file. This may help repair any issues related to SSH key authentication and hostname mapping.