I'm currently looking at setting up a Vagrant environment on my Mac machine, so that I can run vagrant up and it will then install rbenv and ruby and all I need. Then I have a Bash script that will fetch all my repos from github.

The only thing is that my new vagrant vm has to now generate a ssh key and then link it to my Github account. This can be cumbersome. Especially since I would like to share my Vagrant file with all those that have access to our repos so that they could do the same.

So I thought I could try forwarding my hosts ssh to the VM so that the VM can forward my host ssh to Github. Following this article: Githubs walkthrough, I set my hosts ssh config:

Host localhost
    ForwardAgent yes

and set in my vagrant file

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  config.ssh.forward_agent = true

and when I log into my VM and run the following command I get this error:

$ ssh -T [email protected]`
Permission denied (publickey)

Is there anyone that has tried a similar setup? The VM is a precise64 box.



vagrant@precise64:~$ env
SSH_CLIENT= 53068 22
LESSOPEN=| /usr/bin/lesspipe %s
LESSCLOSE=/usr/bin/lesspipe %s %s
  • 1
    What is the output of env once you have entered the virtual machine?
    – Chris Down
    May 27, 2013 at 9:19
  • SSH_AUTH_SOCK=/tmp/ssh-aDGJQD2812/agent.2812. It appears to be working. Are you sure you don't have a conflicting SSH agent on the other machine, and the key is correct?
    – Chris Down
    May 27, 2013 at 9:34
  • yeah running ssh -T [email protected] works and ssh-add -L shows the key and i only have one of them. brain bashing stuff
    – TheLegend
    May 27, 2013 at 9:41
  • 1
    @TheLegend It's a shot in the dark, but have you checked that the ssh-agent is definitely running?
    – djf
    May 27, 2013 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


After a few grueling hours I made headway

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  config.ssh.private_key_path = "~/.ssh/id_rsa"
  config.ssh.forward_agent = true

config.ssh.private_key_path is your local private key Your private key must be available to the local ssh-agent. You can check with ssh-add -L, if it's not listed add it with ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa. Don't forget to add your public key to ~/.ssh/authorized_keys on the Vagrant VM.

Then vagrant reload and rebuild it using the new vagrant config. then it should work test both the host and vagrant using

$ ssh -T [email protected]

vagrant should return the first time

The authenticity of host 'github.com (' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is 16:27:ac:a5:7c:28:2d:36:63:2b:56:4d:eb:df:a6:48.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added 'github.com,' (RSA) to the list of known hosts.

If you didn't add you public key to ~/.ssh/authorized_keys on the Vagrant VM.

There after it should read as

vagrant@precise64:~$ ssh -T [email protected]
Hi Ruberto! You've successfully authenticated, but GitHub does not provide shell access.

Thank you all that helped me. it was because of you that i went digging further :)

  • 4
    Mine doesn't say "Hi Ruberto!". Is it okay if it says a different name there? Oct 7, 2015 at 14:24
  • 1
    Yeah @user973810 its just a response from Github, so it should be the name you have registered with Github with.
    – TheLegend
    Oct 9, 2015 at 5:10
  • 1
    Please warn about the implications of vagrant destroy. I just lost a week of work because of this, I thought it would only destroy the configuration.
    – A1rPun
    Jan 29, 2019 at 15:45

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