I am trying to use SimpleSSHD (Dropbear) on my Android phone, which creates an SSH Server on the phone. I can connect to the phone with Putty, but I need a single-use password which Dropbear creates.

I'm trying to write a Python script to run from my Raspberry Pi to connect to my Android SSH server, but need to get around the single-use password requirement.

I've seen that I can get around that password requirement, with the use of authorized_keys. Where I'm having trouble is what exactly is the public key, and where to put it.

On my RaspberryPi I successfully created a ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub file which looks like

ssh-rsa AAAABSh[huge long string of things]asdfg pi@raspberrypi

Then on the Pi, I did the following commands:

touch ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

But, Dropbear on Android still says no authorized keys, generating single-use password

Do I need to remove the ssh-rsa and pi@raspberrypi from my public key? Is that why Dropbear isn't seeing an "authorized key"?

  • The key has to be authorized on the system you are connecting to. So if you are connecting from the Pi, you need to copy your id_rsa.pub from that system into the authorized_keys file on the Android
    – Fox
    Mar 11, 2019 at 5:32
  • 2
    You don't need the touch. And more impotently the authorized_keys needs to be in dropbear (The accessor, can not authorise them-selves.) Mar 11, 2019 at 8:07
  • @Fox - OH! Ok, so from my Pi, I've ssh'ed into Dropbear ...how do I copy a file from the Pi to a folder in there? (Is that a new question? I think it's "too simple" to warrant one -- would it be some version of cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub >> [directory on Dropbear]? (Or would ~/.ssh be referring to the Dropbear config, since I'm SSH'ed in to that?)
    – BruceWayne
    Mar 11, 2019 at 14:35
  • @ctrl-alt-delor it's a separate app, technically called "SimpleSSHD". (I apologize if my semantics are wrong, as searching around online it seems dropbear is a more general term for this functionality?)
    – BruceWayne
    Mar 11, 2019 at 16:48
  • I have added some more to my answer, but have not used this app. Please respond by improving your question. Not everyone reads the comments: A nice simple question is the best way to go, containing all the info that is needed. Then delete your comments. Mar 11, 2019 at 16:55

2 Answers 2


The authorized_keys needs to be in dropbear, on the android (The accessor, can not authorise them-selves.)

dropbear should have an authorized_keys file, you must append it to that. It will tell dropbear, to allow access to the owner of the private part of this key.

How to

I have never used dropbear. But if you can, then do something like:

mkdir ~/.ssh/authorized_keys.d #in dropbear

scp ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub «my_username@my_android»:~/.ssh/authorized_keys.d/id_rsa.pub # in the Pi

cd ~/.ssh; cat authorized_keys.d/*.pub > authorized_keys #in dropbear

Format of the file

Do I need to remove the ssh-rsa and pi@raspberrypi from my public key? Is that why Dropbear isn't seeing an "authorized key"?

NO, do not remove the ssh-rsa, as this will break the file. Do not remove the pi@raspberrypi this is in the comment section, and will be ignored. It is useful when you come to remove keys, as you can see where they came from.

  • Thanks! I was able to copy the key to the Android device with this - but for some reason now when I ssh in to the Android, it still asks for a password and says no private key found. But, that's a new question after I do some more research. Thanks for your help! :D (Edit: What does the .d do in the foldername?)
    – BruceWayne
    Mar 11, 2019 at 22:49

no need to remove You just need to put authorized_keys file in your android /etc/dropbear folder (or in another file /opt/etc/dropbear if there is no /etc/dropbear ).

after that do.

chmod 0600 /etc/dropbear/authorized_keys
  • i mean in this case put it on android device and i mean if there is no /etc/dropbear folder put it on /opt/etc/dropbear im sorry im just newbie in here Mar 11, 2019 at 11:39
  • Did you know that you can edit, your answer? If you make it clear, then I will change down-vote to up-vote. Mar 11, 2019 at 16:30

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