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Turns out it was a SELinux permissions problem with files in ~/.ssh/. I copied the files from a backup stored on an external drive, where I guess they had received different labels, and they kept their incorrect labels. I should have known. When experiencing puzzling failures that could be permission issues, always check SELinux. The fix: restorecon -r ...


I think nlu has pointed into the right direction. The generally better way to trace down ssh problems is by stopping the sshd on the server side and then start it with $(which sshd) -d. That will give you more meaningful error messages in almost all cases. Update: Sorry - you already did this. There seems to be one difference between sshd on the cli and ...


You should check the ownership and permissions of /home/user/.ssh/authorized_keys too.

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