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I have two VMs running Ubuntu server 16.04 on the same host machine, let us call them A and B. They have different MAC addresses, which are both allowed on the network and can both access the Internet. I can use putty to ssh into both VMs. I can use B to ssh into A. However, I cannot use A to ssh into B, since I consistently get a "permission denied (password)" error. It doesn't even get to the point where it asks me to enter my username. The command I am running is:

ssh -p 6600 MY_IP

where I've added port forwarding from port 6600 to port 22, on which B listens to incoming ssh requests. Since putty can ssh into B, I assume this isn't an ssh setting issue.

Any ideas? I have installed openssh and I believe that's what I'm using.

  • Do you use the exact same username on both machines? If not, you'll need to specify which user you're logging in as (you must log in as a user that exists on the remote machine). For example, if the remote machine has a user named "bob", you can ssh -p 6600 bob@MY_IP – Nick Weinberg Jul 13 '16 at 14:16
  • They are identical, yes, and using userB@MY_IP in the command results in the same error. Also, creating a new user on B doesn't help. And remember, I can still log in with putty, which is what is so weird – Michael Stachowsky Jul 13 '16 at 14:16
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It turns out that the problem was with A's ssh_config file. It had PasswordAuthentication set to "no", with all other authentication methods commented out (which I believe means they are set to default?)

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You have used command incorrectly.

ssh username@ip

The error also may occur if you have enabled password less authentication and disabled password authentication in ssh_config file.

As mentioned in the comments it may be because of error in config file.

  • As per the answer above, the problem was with ssh_config having password authentication disabled. – Michael Stachowsky Jul 14 '16 at 18:06

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