Find and edit sshd_config file:

sudo vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Find the line with PermitRootLogin. This value is default to yes, change it to no. This ensures that root cannot login through ssh. Now an attacker must know your username(s) instead!

Next, find the line with Port. Default is 22. Change this to whatever you want (just ensure that you do not have another service running here). E.g. change it to 10101

Now all you need to do is to reload the sshd service:

sudo /etc/init.d/ssh restart

This means nobody can brute force your root login and even if they could, they would still need to find the port on which the service is running - a little more secure setup.

As I just wrote, I was planing on installing Debian on the device. 

The device booted fine, and installed from network straight from the USB stick. Pretty neat. Everything installed fine, but once I hit the GRUB bootloader I ran into trouble. I could not install the bootloader in the MBR. It simply failed.

After a short google search I found this. The errata for Debian 7.0 (I guess this is on 7.4 as well then) contains details about the GRUB bootloader. It was added that booting from USB and installing GRUB into MBR doesn't work:

To avoid running into this, make sure to answer No when the following question is asked during the installation process: Install the GRUB boot loader to the master boot record?; it should be possible to specify the right device at the next step: Device for boot loader installation. 
If the installation finished successfully despite a wrong GRUB configuration, it should be possible to recover using the rescue mode of the installer: chroot into the root filesystem, mount any additional boot partition if applicable (like /boot and/or /boot/efi for an EFI system, see /etc/fstab), and run grub-install with the proper device as parameter. 

I can add that this is not fixed yet. My solution was simply to remove the USB stick and install into MBR. 

That is it, now the devise is up and running. Notice, installing Debian (base system and SSH server) took no more than 20 minutes, so the system performs pretty well. 

I just bought an old, discarded Fit-PC2. Although old and used, I think it was a bargain! Just have a look at these specs (notice the power consumption):

  • CPU: Intel Atom Z530 1.6GHz
  • RAM: 1GB DDR2-533
  • HDD: 160GB SATA 2.5", 5400 RPM
  • 1 Gigabyte ethernet port
  • 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • 2 mini-USB 2.0 ports
  • 1 mini-SD socket
  • 1 IR receiver 
  • DVI output (using HDMI connector)
  • Power consumption: 6W idle, 7W reading H.264 8W at full load
  • Shipped with Ubuntu

The device comes with an old 5400 RPM HDD. I am fortunate enough to have another disk on 250GB running 7200 RPM. Since this disk is faster, larger and probably have been used less I replaced the original disk with this one. 

 Since I'm a Debian kinda guy I would like to run Debian rather then Ubuntu. The device comes with a lot of USB ports, so my take was to install Debian using an bootable USB device (which I have never actually tried before).

I am not the owner of a 4GB or more USB stick that can be formatted. I do, on the other hand, have an very old (like 10+ years) 128MB stick. Since we're talking Debian, simply download the "mini.iso" file and your good to go.

Once downloaded simply install it on the stick using the "dd" command (I'm running Linux on my laptop, so I simply did it from here). Insert the USB stick (notice the device name, e.g. /dev/sdb - see dmesg if in doubt). Then simply install the iso using this command:

dd if=<file> of=<device> bs=4M; sync

In my case it was simply a matter of running this:

dd if=/tmp/mini.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=4M; sync

The Fit-PC2 device have by default the following boot order: USB stick, USB CD/DVD, HDD. So all that is left now is simply to plugin in the stick and boot up the device.

And now a few images: