sorry for posting common topic again. I read several similar question but I still haven't found why it is not working. So let me describe what I did. I generated private/public rsa key files on a different machine than client/server are.

Then I created ~/.ssh dir and copy over private key id_rsa on a client side, set appropriate owner and file permissions. On a server side I created again under the user I want connect to ~/.ssh put the public key into authorized keys.

When I tried ssh client to host it still requires password even though that keys were generated as password less.

Did I overlooked something obvious?

I also tried to find on a server side check the ssh log for details why it requires passwd - but /var/log/auth or /var/log/ssh doesn't exist. Isn't it enabled by default or do I need to change config of sshd and restart the service.

I'm using CentOS 6.

To Answer the questions: ~/.ssh on server side:

rw-------. hdfs hadoop  authorized_keys

rw-------. hdfs hadoop  config

rw-------. hdfs hadoop  id_rsa.pub

cnfig contains:

Host *
StrictHostKeyChecking no

~/.ssh on client side:

rw-------. hdfs hadoop authorized_keys

rw-------. hdfs hadoop config - the content is the same

rw-------. hdfs hadoop id_rsa

rw-r--r--. hdfs hadoop known_hosts 
  • this one were probably generated by my attempts
  • 1
    Probably a stupid question, but did you put the key in the .ssh/authorized_keys file on the server side? And it is the id_rsa.pub you copied on the server, not the id_rsa, right?
    – MBR
    Sep 4, 2013 at 16:40
  • 2
    Please include the actual exact command you ran and their output. We can't know if you've done it correctly if you don't show what you did.
    – terdon
    Sep 4, 2013 at 16:55
  • 3
    Also show the output of ssh -vvv remotehost. Sep 4, 2013 at 17:38
  • Please share output from ls -l ~/.ssh, and ls -la | grep .ssh.
    – slm
    Sep 4, 2013 at 17:40
  • When I do regenerate the key on the client machine than it works. Is the hostname somehow encoded into the key or so?
    – jaksky
    Sep 5, 2013 at 8:29

3 Answers 3


In CentOS 6, there is a bug that prevents ssh RSA authentication from working as desired if selinux is in Enforcing mode.

You can disable selinux, or you can try the workaround below:

restorecon -R -v ~$USER/.ssh
  • Yea this helps when I do that manually. But I don't know why this doesn't work when I execute that command externally -as via some Config Management tool as puppet. For sure replacing user with correct value
    – jaksky
    Sep 5, 2013 at 11:42

These two lines from the ssh centos-howto solved the issue for me:

$ chmod 700 ~/.ssh
$ chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys 

Can you try this. Add the following lines to ~/.ssh/config:

Host remotehost
 IdentityFile ~/.ssh/your_private_key

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