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Troubleshooting Permission Denied (Publickey) Error in AWS EC2

Are you having trouble SSHing into your AWS EC2 instance? Do you see the error message “Permission denied (publickey)” when you try to connect?

This error message can be frustrating and confusing, but don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll discuss the common causes of this error message and provide step-by-step instructions on how to troubleshoot and solve it.

Incorrect username in SSH connection URL

One of the most common causes of the “Permission denied (publickey)” error message is an incorrect username in the SSH connection URL.

When you create an EC2 instance in the AWS console, you are prompted to select an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) and configure your instance’s security group settings.

Once your instance is up and running, you may want to connect to it using an SSH client. To do this, you need to specify the username associated with your instance.

This username can vary depending on the AMI you selected when you created your instance. For example, if you used an Amazon Linux AMI, the default username is “ec2-user.” If you used a Ubuntu AMI, the default username is “ubuntu.”

To verify the correct username for your instance, go to the AWS EC2 console and select your instance.

Then, check the “Connect” button at the top of the page. In the dropdown, select “SSH client.” In the window that appears, you will see the correct username for your instance.

Incorrect permissions of private key

Another common cause of the “Permission denied (publickey)” error message is incorrect permissions of the private key you are using to authenticate your SSH connection.

When you create an EC2 instance, you are prompted to download a private key file that you will use to authenticate your SSH connection.

Before you can use the private key to connect to your instance, you need to change the permissions on the file. To do this, open a terminal and navigate to the directory where your private key is saved.

Then, run the following command:

chmod 400 path/to/private/key

This command sets the permissions on the private key file so that only the owner can read or write to it. This is necessary for SSH to work properly.

Change permissions of private key

If you are still receiving the “Permission denied (publickey)” error message, you may need to change the permissions on the private key file again.

Open a terminal and navigate to the directory where your private key is saved.

Then, run the following command:

chmod 600 path/to/private/key

This command sets the permissions on the private key file so that only the owner can read or write to it. This is necessary for SSH to work properly.

Use correct username for SSH connection

If you have verified that the permissions on your private key file are correct and you are still receiving the “Permission denied (publickey)” error message, you may need to double-check the username you are using to connect to your instance.

Go to the AWS EC2 console and select your instance.

Then, check the “Connect” button at the top of the page. In the dropdown, select “SSH client.” In the window that appears, you will see the correct username for your instance.

Make sure you are using the correct username when connecting via your SSH client. In conclusion, the “Permission denied (publickey)” error message can be frustrating to deal with, but it is usually caused by easily solvable problems.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you should be able to troubleshoot and solve this error message, and successfully connect to your AWS EC2 instance using your SSH client of choice. 3) Debugging “Permission denied (publickey)” error

While the solutions provided in the previous sections usually resolve the “Permission denied (publickey)” error, there may be instances where the error persists.

In such cases, it may be necessary to use the verbose mode for SSH command to debug the connection. The verbose mode provides more detailed information on the SSH connection process, enabling users to identify any issues with the SSH key authentication process.

The verbose mode can be accessed using the “-v” flag when running the SSH command. To enable the verbose mode, simply add “-v” to your SSH command such as:

ssh -v -i path/to/private/key username@ec2-instance-ip

The “-v” flag will show a detailed output of the SSH connection process.

It will display information on the SSH client version being used, the SSH server version, and the authentication process being used. By carefully examining the output, users can identify the cause of the “Permission denied (publickey)” error.

If the SSH key authentication fails due to an incorrect passphrase or wrong private key file, the verbose output will provide information to help debug the issue.

4) Additional resources

If you are looking for more information on the “Permission denied (publickey)” error message in AWS EC2 instances or other related topics, there are various online resources and tutorials available.

AWS documentation provides a comprehensive guide on working with EC2 instances, including troubleshooting SSH connections.

The AWS documentation provides detailed information on the different types of SSH keys, how to create and use them, and how to troubleshoot SSH connections. The AWS documentation also covers other topics such as security groups, network protocols, and storage options.

Additionally, there are many online tutorials available on platforms such as YouTube and Udemy that provide step-by-step guidance on working with AWS EC2 instances and SSH connections. These tutorials may cover different aspects of working with AWS EC2 instances, ranging from beginner-level to advanced-level topics.

In summary, the “Permission denied (publickey)” error message can be cumbersome to deal with, but there are various solutions available. By ensuring that the SSH key and username are properly configured, and by enabling the verbose mode for troubleshooting purposes, you should have no trouble connecting to your AWS EC2 instance.

If you require further guidance, always refer to the AWS documentation or other online resources. In conclusion, the “Permission denied (publickey)” error message can be a frustrating issue when trying to connect to an AWS EC2 instance through SSH.

However, there are easy troubleshooting steps that users can take to resolve the issue, including verifying their username and permissions on the private key file. If the error persists, users can use the verbose mode to debug the connection.

Additionally, there are many resources available online, including AWS documentation and tutorials, to provide guidance on working with AWS EC2 instances and SSH connections. By following the steps outlined in this article and utilizing the available resources, users should have no trouble connecting to their AWS EC2 instances.

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