I am trying to set up my Pi 3 B+ with kali linux to create a test box to practice some attacks. I am following these tutorials:

Everything has been fine until I came to the part where I need to generate new SSH keys. (Step 4 in the text tutorial) When I run the command

dpkg-reconfigure openssh-server

I get the response

rescue-ssh.target is a disabled or static unit, not starting it.

I have limited experience in any linux distro, so apologies in advance for dumb questions.

From what I understand, rescue mode in linux is similar to recovery mode in Windows? In this case, it's running on my pi from the sd Card correct? Is this not intended based on the tutorials I'm following?

Anyway, any help would be appreciated. Let me know if you need any more information.

Edit: It occurs to me that the linux/unix Stack Exchange may be a better place for this. If this doesn't get any replies soon, I'll remove and re-post it over there.

  • I doubt that is a significant error. It just means dpkg was set up to restart a service that was never running in the first place.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 18:09
  • Ah ok, kind of figured as much. Just strange that it wouldn't be running in my instance, but the neither the tutorial nor anyone commenting mentioned starting the service at any point.
    – Zack F
    Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 18:44
  • See unix.stackexchange.com/questions/475851 .
    – JdeBP
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 16:40
  • 1
    Don't start with Kali if you're new to Linux. From the Kali-website, as answer to the question "Is Kali right for you?": "[...] Kali is a Linux distribution specifically geared towards professional penetration testers and security specialists, and given its unique nature, it is NOT a recommended distribution if you’re unfamiliar with Linux [...]" Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 10:34

2 Answers 2


I too run into the same situation on my Rpi0. However, I just followed the Ubuntu Documentation » OpenSSH Server and executed a systemctl restart ssh.service (NOT systemctl restart sshd.service) after the configuration.

  • After what configuration? Like after the setup is complete? Or does this need to be done before the commands I'm running?
    – Zack F
    Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 20:11
  • The sshd/ssh service is not the same thing as the rescue-ssh.target. The former would have been restarted by dpkg anyway.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 3:37
  • Then what is the rescue-ssh.target? And is it important? I've tried to do some research, but can't find a straight answer anywhere.
    – Zack F
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 20:26

After fighting with being unable to connect to my Pi via SSH or VNC on the same local network, I discovered that I had my Wireguard VPN on, so all access to the local network came from WAN! That was a few hours...

So if you use VPN, consider that angle.

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