Hardening SNMP on Debian

Hardening SNMP on Debian by disabling SNMP v1 and v2c, and configuring SNMP v3.

Modify /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf

First we’ll want to open up the /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf file and comment out all lines that begin with

  • rocommunity
  • view
  • rouser authPriv <– “This may be the last line by default, we don’t need it”

Alternatively, you can copy and paste the following sed commands instead of manually editing the file.

sudo sed -i 's/^rocommunity/# rocommunityc/g' /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf
sudo sed -i 's/^view/# view/g' /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf
sudo sed -i 's/^rouser authPriv/# rouser authPriv/g' /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf

Create SNMP v3 User

We can create a SNMP v3 user with the following command. There it will ask you for the username and passwords.

sudo net-snmp-create-v3-user -ro -a SHA-512 -x AES

You may receive an error about not being able to touch /snmp/snmpd.conf. I am not sure why Debian is attempting to create that file. Take the “rouser snmpuser” line and add it to the end of the /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf config.

Debian SNMP Error

Now we can start SNMPD

sudo systemctl start snmpd


My created user is not working! This could result from two different issues.

  1. It appears that Debian/SNMP doesn’t like pass phrases with special characters. You can try using a different password or escaping the special characters in “/var/lib/snmp/snmpd.conf” file before starting SNMPD.
  2. The user didn’t get added to /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf To fix, add “rouser snmpuser” (Change snmpuser to your snmp username) to the bottom of the config file.

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