I am trying to connect with SSH from my MacBook to a Vagrant machine.

vagrant ssh works fine, but I'm wondering why it is failing when I use ssh from the Mac Terminal.

Here is the error it throws:

Raghavendras-MacBook-Pro:~ raghu$ ssh -p 2222 [email protected]
Permission denied (publickey,gssapi-keyex,gssapi-with-mic).
  • Please edit your question to add the output of what you see when you run ssh -vvv -p 2222 [email protected]. Dec 11, 2016 at 5:39

2 Answers 2


Because you are issuing a "plain" ssh command and in result you are trying to login to the VM using your default id_rsa+id_rsa.pub key-pair.

Unless you explicitly added ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub from the MacBook to the ~/.ssh/accepted_keys of the vagrant account on the VM, your default key-pair is unknown to the VM and will be rejected with the "Permission denied" message you get.

You can use a key that Vagrant creates and injects into the machine upon creation. Run the following from the project directory, replacing <machine_id> with the name you configured in the Vagrantfile (also assuming you are using VirtualBox, otherwise change that part of the path too):

ssh -i .vagrant/machines/<machine_id>/virtualbox/private_key -p 2222 [email protected]

The command ssh [email protected] -p 2222 should work fine, but sometimes Vagrant changes the port it’s forwarding to the localhost so the -p 2222 won’t work.

So double-check what port SSH is being forwarded on/from and use that port number instead.

A simple way to check that is to vagrant ssh from your Vagrant setup directory and then in another shell/terminal window run this command:

ps aux | grep ssh

There should be a line in there that shows you exactly how the SSH connection was established that looks like this:

ssh [email protected] -p 2226 -o Compression=yes -o DSAAuthentication=yes -o LogLevel=FATAL -o IdentitiesOnly=yes -o StrictHostKeyChecking=no -o UserKnownHostsFile=/dev/null -i /path/to/Vagrant/.vagrant/machines/nodejs/virtualbox/private_key

Ignore the bulk of that command unless you care about password-less access. Just note this first part:

ssh [email protected] -p 2226

That is the command—in my example—where the forwarded SSH post is 2226. That works in my case. And if you are prompted for a password for some reason, remember the default Vagrant user is vagrant and the default password for that user is… vagrant.

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