Troubleshooting Install SSH Keys on Ubuntu 22.04

Install SSH Keys on Ubuntu 22.04

When installing SSH keys on Ubuntu 22.04, you may encounter a few common issues. In this article, we will explore some common problems that you might encounter during SSH key installation and provide troubleshooting steps to resolve them. If you’re planning on purchasing an Ubuntu VPS server, be sure to take a look at the various packages available on the Eldernode website.

How to Troubleshoot Install SSH Keys on Ubuntu 22.04

Installing SSH keys on Ubuntu 22.04 is a valuable technique that enhances security and streamlines remote access. However, occasionally, hiccups can occur along the way. Fear not! This how-to guide will equip you with clever troubleshooting tips to overcome any obstacles and successfully install SSH keys on your Ubuntu 22.04 system.




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Step 1: Generate SSH Key Pair

Before embarking on the troubleshooting journey, ensure that you have generated an SSH key pair. If not, follow these simple steps to generate one:

  1. Open a terminal on Ubuntu 22.04.
  2. Execute the command: “ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096
  3. Press Enter when prompted to define the location for saving the key; the default location is usually fine.
  4. Next, you can choose to set a passphrase for added security or leave it blank.
  5. Congratulations! You now have an SSH key pair, consisting of a private and public key.

Step 2: Copy Public Key

Now, let’s copy the public key to the remote server for successful authentication:

  1. Execute the command: ‘ssh-copy-id user@server
  2. Replace “user” with your username and “server” with the remote server’s IP address or domain name.
  3. Enter your authentication password when prompted.
  4. The public key will be copied to the remote server, enabling password-less SSH login.

Step 3: Troubleshooting Common Issues

a) Permission Denied: If you encounter a “Permission denied” error, follow these steps:

1. Ensure the correct file permissions for '.ssh' directory: 'chmod 700 ~/.ssh'
2. Verify that the `authorized_keys` file has appropriate permissions: `chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys`

b) Incorrect SSH Key Names: If the SSH key pair filename is not default (id_rsa and, specify it explicitly during connection by

adding '-i path/to/private_key' to your SSH command.

c) Firewalls and Stale SSH Agents: At times, firewalls or stale SSH agents can hinder authentication. Try disabling the firewall temporarily or

restart the SSH agent within a terminal with: `eval $(ssh-agent -s)`.

d) SSH Agent Forwarding: If you are using a jump host or proxy server and need SSH agent forwarding, ensure `ForwardAgent yes` is set in

the remote server's SSH configuration file (`/etc/ssh/sshd_config`).

e) Invalid Permissions on Remote Server: Verify that the ‘~/.ssh’ directory and ‘authorized_keys’ file on the remote server have the correct

permissions. Use the following commands if necessary:

- 'chmod 700 ~/.ssh'
- 'chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys'

f) Incorrect Key Format: If you encounter errors with unsupported key formats, use the `ssh-keygen` command to convert the key format to

OpenSSH. For example: `ssh-keygen -p -f path/to/private_key`

Step 4: Testing and Verifying SSH Key Access

To ensure your troubleshooting efforts paid off and SSH key access is functioning correctly:

1. Open a new terminal session.

2. Execute the command: `ssh -i /path/to/private_key user@server`

3. Replace “user” with your username and “server” with the remote server’s IP address or domain name.

4. Voila! If successful, you should now be connected to the remote server without password authentication.

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By following this clever troubleshooting guide, you are now equipped to tackle any hurdles that may come your way while installing SSH keys on Ubuntu 22.04. Remember, perseverance and a touch of cleverness will pave the way to seamless SSH key authentication, enhancing your security and efficiency.

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Tom Veitch
Eldernode Writer
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