Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm trying to rsync from my MacOS machine to an Ubuntu server that's running on Windows Azure. To ssh to it, I have to do the following:

 $ ssh -i  myPrivateKey.key -p 22

I think the key file might be an X509 public key, if that helps (sorry, I'm no sysadmin). Anyway, I can ssh successfully with the above command.

Now I'd like to rsync files to the remote server. Do I need to supply the .key file as an option somehow?

A normal rsync command fails:

$ sudo rsync -avz -e my/file
    rsync: Failed to exec my/file: Permission denied (13)
rsync error: error in IPC code (code 14) at /SourceCache/rsync/rsync-42/rsync/pipe.c(86) [receiver=2.6.9]
    rsync: connection unexpectedly closed (0 bytes received so far) [receiver]
    rsync error: error in rsync protocol data stream (code 12) at /SourceCache/rsync/rsync-42/rsync/io.c(452) [receiver=2.6.9]
share|improve this question
up vote 7 down vote accepted

The command fails not because of wrong keys, but because you're telling rsync to run my/file instead of ssh (by using the -e option, which picks up the word following it). Remove the -e option first.

Since rsync normally uses ssh to connect, you can configure both to always use a particular key for connecting to cloudapp. For example, put this at the top of your ~/.ssh/config file:

    Username me
    IdentityFile ~/my-cloudapp-key.key
    IdentitiesOnly yes

The Username me part will also let you skip adding me@ when using ssh or rsync. Plain rsync -avz my/file will work.

Note: SSH keys are not X.509 certificates; they're just plain RSA or ECDSA keypairs without any additional information.

share|improve this answer
On Ubuntu it seems to be User instead of Username – Thomas Weller Jan 9 at 23:21

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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