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I have a fresh install of Ubuntu 12.04. I'm trying to setup ssh public key authentication. Unfortunately, it refuses to work. Running the ssh client in verbose mode I can see that the public keys are being refused.

~/.ssh/authorized_keys exists and seems to have the correct permissions etc.

What I would like to do is to read the sshd log to find out what it is complaining about. But I cannot find where the sshd logs to on Ubuntu 12.04. I've tried googling and checked /var/log/auth.log and /var/log/syslog and neither are showing sshd messages. Where can I find the daemon logs to figure out what is going on?

sshd is set with logging
SyslogFacility AUTH

and /etc/rsyslog.d/50-default.conf reads:

auth,authpriv.*         /var/log/auth.log
*.*;auth,authpriv.none      -/var/log/syslog

but nothing shows up about sshd in those log files.

Also. No sshd process appears to be running if run ps xa | grep sshd. Is that normal? It certainly accepts password connections.

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It is unclear to me if you are trying to setup SSH server on your machine, or you are trying to connect to remote machine using your private key? – Andrejs Cainikovs May 29 '12 at 17:40
@AndrejsCainikovs I'm trying to setup my machine as a ssh server. For testing I'm using this machine as server and client (i.e ssh localhost) which works when a password is provided, but I need key-based authentication. – Jonathan J Hunt May 29 '12 at 17:53
I see. Well, if password works, then sshd is installed and works. Does the log at /var/log/auth.log say something when you connect via password? When you specify wrong password? – Andrejs Cainikovs May 29 '12 at 19:08
No. No sshd logs show up in auth.log or anywhere else that I've looked. – Jonathan J Hunt May 29 '12 at 20:56
My kneejerk reaction was that you must be connecting to the wrong machine, but if you're connecting to localhost, that's not very likely. Still, post the output of ssh -vv localhost, and of netstat -lnt. Do you have any virtualization going on? Any chroot? – Gilles May 29 '12 at 21:08

OP answered:

In case anyone encounters this in future. For me the problem was solved by realising that lshd rather the opensshd was answering port 22. Removing lshd (apt-get remove lsh-server) fixed everything.

Thanks to @Gilles for pointing me in the right direction.

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