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I recently installed OpenSSH on one of my Ubuntu machines and I've been running into problems getting it to use RSA keys.

I've generated the RSA key on the client (ssh-keygen), and appended the public key generated to both the /home/jex/.ssh/authorized_keys and /etc/ssh/authorized_keys files on the server.

However, when I try to login (ssh -o PreferredAuthorizations=publickey jex@host -v [which forces the use of public key for login]) I get the following output:

jex@Po:~$ sshpc -vvv -o PreferredAuthentications=publickey
OpenSSH_5.1p1 Debian-6ubuntu2, OpenSSL 0.9.8g 19 Oct 2007
debug1: Reading configuration data /etc/ssh/ssh_config
debug1: Applying options for *
debug2: ssh_connect: needpriv 0
debug1: Connecting to 192.168.0.102 [192.168.0.102] port 22.
debug1: Connection established.
debug3: Not a RSA1 key file /home/jex/.ssh/id_rsa.
debug2: key_type_from_name: unknown key type '-----BEGIN'
debug3: key_read: missing keytype
debug2: key_type_from_name: unknown key type 'Proc-Type:'
debug3: key_read: missing keytype
debug2: key_type_from_name: unknown key type 'DEK-Info:'
debug3: key_read: missing keytype
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug3: key_read: missing whitespace
debug2: key_type_from_name: unknown key type '-----END'
debug3: key_read: missing keytype
debug1: identity file /home/jex/.ssh/id_rsa type 1
debug1: Checking blacklist file /usr/share/ssh/blacklist.RSA-2048
debug1: Checking blacklist file /etc/ssh/blacklist.RSA-2048
debug1: Remote protocol version 2.0, remote software version OpenSSH_5.1p1 Debian-6ubuntu2
debug1: match: OpenSSH_5.1p1 Debian-6ubuntu2 pat OpenSSH*
debug1: Enabling compatibility mode for protocol 2.0
debug1: Local version string SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_5.1p1 Debian-6ubuntu2
debug2: fd 3 setting O_NONBLOCK
debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEXINIT sent
debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEXINIT received
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha256,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha1,diffie-hellman-group14-sha1,diffie-hellman-group1-sha1
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: ssh-rsa,ssh-dss
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: aes128-cbc,3des-cbc,blowfish-cbc,cast128-cbc,arcfour128,arcfour256,arcfour,aes192-cbc,aes256-cbc,rijndael-cbc@lysator.liu.se,aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: aes128-cbc,3des-cbc,blowfish-cbc,cast128-cbc,arcfour128,arcfour256,arcfour,aes192-cbc,aes256-cbc,rijndael-cbc@lysator.liu.se,aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: hmac-md5,hmac-sha1,umac-64@openssh.com,hmac-ripemd160,hmac-ripemd160@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-96,hmac-md5-96
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: hmac-md5,hmac-sha1,umac-64@openssh.com,hmac-ripemd160,hmac-ripemd160@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-96,hmac-md5-96
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: none,zlib@openssh.com,zlib
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: none,zlib@openssh.com,zlib
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: 
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: 
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: first_kex_follows 0 
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: reserved 0 
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha256,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha1,diffie-hellman-group14-sha1,diffie-hellman-group1-sha1
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: ssh-rsa,ssh-dss
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: aes128-cbc,3des-cbc,blowfish-cbc,cast128-cbc,arcfour128,arcfour256,arcfour,aes192-cbc,aes256-cbc,rijndael-cbc@lysator.liu.se,aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: aes128-cbc,3des-cbc,blowfish-cbc,cast128-cbc,arcfour128,arcfour256,arcfour,aes192-cbc,aes256-cbc,rijndael-cbc@lysator.liu.se,aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: hmac-md5,hmac-sha1,umac-64@openssh.com,hmac-ripemd160,hmac-ripemd160@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-96,hmac-md5-96
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: hmac-md5,hmac-sha1,umac-64@openssh.com,hmac-ripemd160,hmac-ripemd160@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-96,hmac-md5-96
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: none,zlib@openssh.com
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: none,zlib@openssh.com
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: 
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: 
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: first_kex_follows 0 
debug2: kex_parse_kexinit: reserved 0 
debug2: mac_setup: found hmac-md5
debug1: kex: server->client aes128-cbc hmac-md5 none
debug2: mac_setup: found hmac-md5
debug1: kex: client->server aes128-cbc hmac-md5 none
debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEX_DH_GEX_REQUEST(1024<1024<8192) sent
debug1: expecting SSH2_MSG_KEX_DH_GEX_GROUP
debug2: dh_gen_key: priv key bits set: 122/256
debug2: bits set: 525/1024
debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEX_DH_GEX_INIT sent
debug1: expecting SSH2_MSG_KEX_DH_GEX_REPLY
debug3: check_host_in_hostfile: filename /home/jex/.ssh/known_hosts
debug3: check_host_in_hostfile: match line 1
debug1: Host '192.168.0.102' is known and matches the RSA host key.
debug1: Found key in /home/jex/.ssh/known_hosts:1
debug2: bits set: 490/1024
debug1: ssh_rsa_verify: signature correct
debug2: kex_derive_keys
debug2: set_newkeys: mode 1
debug1: SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS sent
debug1: expecting SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS
debug2: set_newkeys: mode 0
debug1: SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS received
debug1: SSH2_MSG_SERVICE_REQUEST sent
debug2: service_accept: ssh-userauth
debug1: SSH2_MSG_SERVICE_ACCEPT received
debug2: key: /home/jex/.ssh/id_rsa (0x20942c30)
debug3: input_userauth_banner
debug1: Authentications that can continue: publickey,keyboard-interactive
debug3: start over, passed a different list publickey,keyboard-interactive
debug3: preferred publickey
debug3: authmethod_lookup publickey
debug3: remaining preferred: 
debug3: authmethod_is_enabled publickey
debug1: Next authentication method: publickey
debug1: Offering public key: /home/jex/.ssh/id_rsa
debug3: send_pubkey_test
debug2: we sent a publickey packet, wait for reply
debug1: Authentications that can continue: publickey,keyboard-interactive
debug2: we did not send a packet, disable method
debug1: No more authentication methods to try.
Permission denied (publickey,keyboard-interactive).
jex@Po:~$ 

I'm not entirely sure where I've gone wrong. I am willing to post my /etc/ssh/sshd_config if needed.

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Try using -vvv, which will give more detail on the debug –  gorilla Apr 21 '10 at 1:57

3 Answers 3

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Try doing both of these:

  1. Only put the public key in /home/jex/.ssh/authorized_keys file. This is to help isolate the problem and make sure that it is not confused about multiple keys.
  2. Make sure that both the file and /home/jex/.ssh directories are readable by the user. I sometimes make errors on #2 because I was running as root when I created the .ssh/authorized_keys file.
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ok, 1: public key is only in ~/.ssh/authorized_keys. 2: i have wrx, on .ssh/ and rw on authorized_keys. And i updated the output i was getting i retried with -vvv –  VolatileDream Apr 22 '10 at 0:53
    
To expand on sybreon's point #2, I make sure that the owner of ~/ssh and ~/.ssh/authorized_keys is the same as the user (sudo chown -R jex:jex /home/jex/.ssh). Allowing read access to all users will be a security issue. –  simplr Apr 22 '10 at 1:57

Are you sure the content of authorized_keys is correct? Maybe something went wrong when creating the file. To fix that try removing the file and then use:

ssh-copy-id jex@host

That will create the authorized_keys file automatically for you.

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Check the permissions of authorized_keys file on the target.

$chmod 700 ~/.ssh;chmod 700 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

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