Is there a need for a question (or set of questions) and answers around SSH publickey refusal queries?

For stuff like,

I was thinking along the lines of setting up key pairs, permissions, remembering to ssh in as the right user, using -v -v to get more diagnostics, settings in the sshd_config file, etc.

However, thinking about it further, I wondered how much of that is on-topic for ServerFault, rather than SuperUser or Linux/UNIX? Just thought I'd gather some opinions.

  • 4
    Don't forget to make it clear that the permissions are critical, which I suspect is the problem in most of those cases. Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 11:12

2 Answers 2


Personally, I find a lot of SSH usage questions to be more SU-worthy. However, it is the glue that holds together a lot of our networks so it's one of those gray area things.

Given that, I do see value in a question/answer pair that covers the major bases in one concise set. It shouldn't have an encyclopedia of how public-key works, but address the core cause(es) and how errors manifest; the deep-dive can happen after those two.

  • 6
    Any answer should probably address the proper use of ssh-agent as well.
    – voretaq7
    Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 14:27
  • IMHO if the problem is you can't SSH into a server, you don't know yet if it's a server problem or a user problem. Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 5:41

Okay, so it seems like a reasonably popular idea - how do I / we make it happen? Do we just wait for an opportune question or does someone write a new one, or do we go and find an old one?

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