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PuTTY error: "No supported authentication methods available"

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Background Information

Under some circumstances, you may receive an error when using PuTTY to log into your instances outside of the RightScale Dashboard:

PuTTY Fatal Error Disconnected: No supported authentication methods available.

Note: If you launch PuTTY via the SSH icon in the RightScale Dashboard as described in the article titled How do I configure my native SSH client to work with RightScale?, you should not receive this error nor need to propagate your instance's SSH private key into PuTTY as described in the next section. These instructions are only for users accessing servers via SSH outside of the Dashboard.

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Answer

There is a bug in PuTTY that requires an extra newline character at the end of your key file.  Also, PuTTY doesn't read raw key files. It only reads its own PPK file format for the keys.  You need to use puttygen to import the raw text key file and then save it as a Putty Private Key (PPK) file.

1) From the RightScale Dashboard navigate to your private key and display it by going to Clouds > region > SSH Keys and clicking on the key that your instance is using (e.g. "default").

2) Copy the entire key into a text editor such as Notepad or vim (do not use a word processor - it needs to be a raw text editor!)

3) Make sure there is an extra line at the bottom.  That is, the end of the file must contain a newline character or puttygen cannot read the file.   Make sure the cursor in the text editor is below the last line:

EqMBYPQNIBF2pVoj80aBXY/p1g9+4jiIzYyHHGYIpZROpv3RT06PWMLlgg3+eCWbtaE=
-----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----

4) Save your keyfile as "defaultkey.txt" or some other relevant name.

5) Run puttygen (this is included in the PuTTY package and you can download it separately if you have PuTTY only from here).

6) Select Conversions > Import Key.  (Optional - put in a Key "passphrase" to protect the private key.)  Then click "Save private key" button and save it in your PuTTY key file folder.

7) Launch PuTTY and log into the server.  Note that if you are running PuTTY standalone (not from Elastic Fox or some other application that sets the environment) you must tell PuTTY where your PPK file is located.  This is done from Connection > SSH > Auth > Private key file for authentication.  Browse to the PPK file you just generated.  You can save your session so you don't have to go through these steps again.

8) When you log in using SSH  and see the "login as:" prompt, log in is as root.  Their is no password because SSH has performed the authentication.

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Posted 14:25, 11 Oct 2013
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