I installed Raspbian Jessie Lite (downloaded from the raspberry pi site) to my SD card, plugged it into my Pi 2 and fired it up. Any attempt to connect via SSH is actively refused. The IP address is correct and the device is showing on my router. So I guess SSH is not running by default with that distro. So I connected my monitor to the Pi but there is no signal. I guess that isn't surprising because Jessie Lite is headless. So how am I supposed to access my Pi? It seems ridiculous that a headless distro wouldn't have SSH running by default. Am I missing something?

UPDATE Faulty HDMI cable did not help. Serves me right for buying it in Poundland. Currently installing Raspbian Lite via NOOBS.

UPDATE 2 Jessie Lite installed via Noobs (networked) and I can confirm that SSH works out of the box. I'm leaving this question here as a reminder not to make assumptions. :-)

  • I don't believe Jessie Lite is headless it is GUI less. Nov 18, 2016 at 10:42
  • So should I be seeing console output on my monitor if it is booting correctly? Nov 18, 2016 at 10:51
  • Assuming you are using HDMI and connect the HDMI before booting I believe so - you should get a terminal prompt. Nov 18, 2016 at 10:53
  • I also believe that SSH is running by default... Nov 18, 2016 at 11:01
  • It sounds pretty odd that you cannot see anything on your monitor. How did you verify the IP address then? SSH should be running and your Pi reachable if the network connection is good.
    – kwasmich
    Nov 18, 2016 at 11:01

1 Answer 1


Raspbian Lite release notes from 25th November 2016:

  * SSH disabled by default; can be enabled by creating a file with name "ssh" in boot partition

That answers the question I think. :)

  • Too many were getting hijacked, the security risk of enabling ssh for a device which always has the same username and password is too big.
    – gosuto
    Apr 27, 2018 at 7:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.