This is more of a headscratcher than an actual problem.

I've created a public/private RSA key pair with Puttygen on Windows 10 and added the public key to an OpenSSH server on Ubuntu.

If I attempt to log in to the server using Putty, I'm asked to provide my passphrase. When I do so, I receive a "Wrong passphrase" message and am denied access. This happens both when I type my password manually and when I copy/paste it into the Putty window.

If I add the key to Pageant using the exact same passphrase, Pageant accepts it and I'm able to log in using Putty without issues.

I've got an identical issue with OpenSSH on RHEL.

Does anyone know why the exact same password is accepted by Pageant but rejected by the SSH server if provided manually? My best guesses are that it's something to do with key format and/or use of symbols in the passphrase, but I can't find any answers for this specific issue online.

  • The passphrase is not sent to the server, so it's not that it is "rejected by the SSH server". Passphrase is used only by the client. It can be a problem with some special characters in the passphrase. Are there any? – Martin Prikryl Sep 13 at 7:33
  • Yep, there are a few. Are certain characters not allowed? I couldn't find any documentation that mentions forbidden characters. – theclintox Sep 13 at 7:41
  • It's not that are are not allowed. But some characters can be misinterpreted on the terminal. Did you test it without the special characters? – Martin Prikryl Sep 13 at 7:56
  • Yes - it works without special characters. I'd added them to increase complexity, but I can always play around until I find some characters that work. I just wondered if anyone knew exactly what was going on - I can't find anything online to suggest that PuTTY doesn't accept certain characters in passphrases, and the passphrase looks correct if I paste it into the terminal once I've logged into the server. – theclintox Sep 13 at 8:05
  • So what character was the problem? What character set do you have configured for your session? – Martin Prikryl Sep 13 at 8:07

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