I recently installed the latest Ubuntu 12.04 64bit alpha (2?) onto a VMware virtual machine in order to check things out.

One strange thing I've encountered is that I can only successfully ssh into the machine if I am logged into the console. If I log out from the console, I get a permission denied.

This is pretty baffling so I'm hoping someone else has seen this.

The following is the output.

OpenSSH_5.6p1, OpenSSL 0.9.8r 8 Feb 2011
debug1: Reading configuration data /Users/foo/.ssh/config
debug1: Applying options for b06
debug1: Applying options for *
debug1: Reading configuration data /etc/ssh_config
debug1: Applying options for *
debug1: auto-mux: Trying existing master
debug1: Control socket "/Users/foo/.ssh/mux/ssh_mux_foo" does not exist
debug1: Connecting to foo [xx.xx.xx.xx] port 22.
debug1: Connection established.
debug1: identity file /Users/foo/.ssh/id_rsa-4096 type 1
debug1: identity file /Users/foo/.ssh/id_rsa-4096-cert type -1
debug1: identity file /Users/foo/.ssh/id_rsa type 1
debug1: identity file /Users/foo/.ssh/id_rsa-cert type -1
debug1: Remote protocol version 2.0, remote software version OpenSSH_5.9p1 Debian-2ubuntu2
debug1: match: OpenSSH_5.9p1 Debian-2ubuntu2 pat OpenSSH*
debug1: Enabling compatibility mode for protocol 2.0
debug1: Local version string SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_5.6
debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEXINIT sent
debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEXINIT received
debug1: kex: server->client aes128-ctr hmac-md5 none
debug1: kex: client->server aes128-ctr hmac-md5 none
debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEX_DH_GEX_REQUEST(1024<1024<8192) sent
debug1: expecting SSH2_MSG_KEX_DH_GEX_GROUP
debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEX_DH_GEX_INIT sent
debug1: expecting SSH2_MSG_KEX_DH_GEX_REPLY
debug1: Host '[foo]:22' is known and matches the RSA host key.
debug1: Found key in /Users/foo/.ssh/known_hosts:1
Host key fingerprint is 

debug1: ssh_rsa_verify: signature correct
debug1: SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS sent
debug1: expecting SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS
debug1: SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS received
debug1: Roaming not allowed by server
debug1: SSH2_MSG_SERVICE_ACCEPT received
debug1: Authentications that can continue: publickey
debug1: Next authentication method: publickey
debug1: Offering RSA public key: /Users/foo/.ssh/id_rsa-4096
debug1: Authentications that can continue: publickey
debug1: Offering RSA public key: /Users/foo/.ssh/id_rsa
debug1: Authentications that can continue: publickey
debug1: No more authentication methods to try.
Permission denied (publickey).

This is just a guess, but as far as I know Ubuntu encrypts the user home folders by default. When you are not logged in, ~/.ssh/authorized_keys will not be readable by sshd on the host machine and therefore your pubkey authentication fails.


From what it says, I can think of one thing:

  1. you have added an old rsa_key to the known_hosts file on the new machine. Then for some reason the ssh config has been set to only allow keys that have been added to the known_hosts.

I don't know why they would switch that on the new version of ubuntu. The ssh config file should be at /etc/sshd_config

Hope this helps, or atleast puts a better idea into someones mind.


So after a bit more digging, I have somewhat of a solution to my problem. I neglected to mention that my home directory is encrypted so after thinking more about this, it makes sense that things don't work.

Here's the fix:

  • Follow the steps at this url
  • You can log in after this but still will not see your home directory
  • You need to run "ecryptfs-mount-private" and provide your password
  • Lastly, do a "cd" to get to your directory

This really is kind of a pain in the butt but I see why it was done this way. I'm open to suggestions that negate me having to enter the password in "ecryptfs-mount-private". But this is the best that I have for now.

  • 1
    So basically my answer was correct and encryption was the problem. – jhenninger Mar 3 '12 at 3:43
  • How is this in any way better than providing the password to log in in the first place? imho this "fix" makes it much more cumbersome unless you want to disallow ssh access by password completely. There is no way to get around keying in your password to unlock the ecryptfs key anyway. It's not a big problem for me in practice since I normally have a tmux session running anyway. – kynan Aug 11 '12 at 11:00

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