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I know this question has been asked many times and I have tried the top answers from all of them, but I still can't get mine to work. It says that files like /home/valachio/.ssh/id_rsa are not found but I checked my server and all the files are clearly there.

I tried using a generated SSH key with ssh-keygen and also tried using an SSH key generated with PuTTY. The SSH key is correctly stored in authorized_keys under /home/valachio/.ssh/. I checked the format of the key, and it should be correct. It ssh-rsa (keyname) valachio@(myserverhost)

When I do ssh -vT valachio@159.203.13.88, the error message is:

OpenSSH_7.2p2 Ubuntu-4ubuntu2.2, OpenSSL 1.0.2g  1 Mar 2016
debug1: Reading configuration data /etc/ssh/ssh_config
debug1: /etc/ssh/ssh_config line 19: Applying options for *
debug1: Connecting to 159.203.13.88 [159.203.13.88] port 22.
debug1: Connection established.
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file /home/valachio/.ssh/id_rsa type -1
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file /home/valachio/.ssh/id_rsa-cert type -1
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file /home/valachio/.ssh/id_dsa type -1
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file /home/valachio/.ssh/id_dsa-cert type -1
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file /home/valachio/.ssh/id_ecdsa type -1
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file /home/valachio/.ssh/id_ecdsa-cert type -1
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file /home/valachio/.ssh/id_ed25519 type -1
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file /home/valachio/.ssh/id_ed25519-cert type -1
debug1: Enabling compatibility mode for protocol 2.0
debug1: Local version string SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_7.2p2 Ubuntu-4ubuntu2.2
debug1: Remote protocol version 2.0, remote software version OpenSSH_7.2p2 Ubuntu-4ubuntu2.2
debug1: match: OpenSSH_7.2p2 Ubuntu-4ubuntu2.2 pat OpenSSH* compat 0x04000000
debug1: Authenticating to 159.203.13.88:22 as 'valachio'
debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEXINIT sent
debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEXINIT received
debug1: kex: algorithm: curve25519-sha256@libssh.org
debug1: kex: host key algorithm: ecdsa-sha2-nistp256
debug1: kex: server->client cipher: chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com MAC: <implicit> compression: none
debug1: kex: client->server cipher: chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com MAC: <implicit> compression: none
debug1: expecting SSH2_MSG_KEX_ECDH_REPLY
debug1: Server host key: ecdsa-sha2-nistp256 SHA256:Cb+ahYzmTapn99cB5mA+V3T165RkGAItyxV3kYGgOF4
debug1: Host '159.203.13.88' is known and matches the ECDSA host key.
debug1: Found key in /home/valachio/.ssh/known_hosts:1
debug1: rekey after 134217728 blocks
debug1: SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS sent
debug1: expecting SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS
debug1: rekey after 134217728 blocks
debug1: SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS received
debug1: SSH2_MSG_EXT_INFO received
debug1: kex_input_ext_info: server-sig-algs=<rsa-sha2-256,rsa-sha2-512>
debug1: SSH2_MSG_SERVICE_ACCEPT received
debug1: Authentications that can continue: publickey
debug1: Next authentication method: publickey
debug1: Trying private key: /home/valachio/.ssh/id_rsa
debug1: Trying private key: /home/valachio/.ssh/id_dsa
debug1: Trying private key: /home/valachio/.ssh/id_ecdsa
debug1: Trying private key: /home/valachio/.ssh/id_ed25519
debug1: No more authentication methods to try.
Permission denied (publickey).

If someone can help decipher what the error message is saying and give me some pointers, that will be much appreciated. Thank you!

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  • Please clarify where you find those files in the question. You need id_rsa on the client (you stated you find it on a server, I doubt whether it is a typo or you really only did ssh-keygen on the server and nothing else. If it is the latter case, it certainly won't work) and the data of id_rsa.pub stored in the authorized_keys on the server. Also check permissions as others have stated. – Weijun Zhou Jan 13 '18 at 7:32
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Double check the ownership of 'id_rsa' and the permissions of both the '.ssh' directory and the 'id_rsa' file. Make sure 'valachio' owns both of those. Then make sure '.ssh' has 700 permissions, and 'id_rsa' has 600.

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You are missing the public key, id_rsa.pub. Here is an example generation of a public and private key pair on a server.

 $ ls -ltrh .ssh/
 -rw-r--r--. 1 root root 394 Jul 18 23:49 known_hosts

 $ ssh-keygen  -t rsa
 Generating public/private rsa key pair.

 Enter file in which to save the key (/root/.ssh/id_rsa): Enter passphrase 
 (empty for no passphrase): 
 Enter same passphrase again: 
 Your identification has been saved in /root/.ssh/id_rsa.
 Your public key has been saved in /root/.ssh/id_rsa.pub.
 The key fingerprint is:
 SHA256:allgibberishnosecutiryjustfakingit root@localhost
 ....
  blah blah...
 ... blah

 $ ls -ltrh .ssh/
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root  394 Jul 18 23:49 known_hosts
-rw-------  1 root root 1.7K Jan 12 22:13 id_rsa
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  395 Jan 12 22:13 id_rsa.pub

Next step is to copy the id_rsa.pub to the remote server file ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file and then retry the ssh -vv command.

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