This is the recommended method to add SSH authentication for system users (other than root) with public/private keypairs.
chmod -v 700 ~/.ssh/id_rsa*
authorized_keysfor user. Add the public key generated plus any other public keys intended for use with SSH clients
cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
ssh -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa_myserver tester@<public_ip>
You can debug issues buy using the -v flag with the ssh command and checking the secure/auth log on the server.
Important! This is not a recommended best practice and should not be used on production servers or any instances that contain sensitive information. Plain user authentication with PAM is insecure compared to public key authentication (the default).
Consider using an identity server such as an LDAP server to scale users if required.
Tested with RightImage Ubuntu 10.04 i386 v5.5.9.
sed -e "s/#PasswordAuthentication yes/PasswordAuthentication yes/g" -i /etc/ssh/sshd_config
apt-get update && apt-get -y install denyhosts
You can now log into the instance with system user accounts, while preserving public key authentication for the root user.
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