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'Permission denied' when trying to SSH into Suse Linux

This document (3404214) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.

Environment

Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10
Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10
Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9
Novell Linux Desktop 9

Situation

When trying to get a remote secure shell (ssh) connection to Suse Linux, users are denied after they submit a password. In some cases, this was working earlier but the problem came up after an update.
This has been seen with various Windows SSH clients, like putty and smarterm, but not with the Linux SSH client itself.

Resolution

Edit the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file. Verify the following setting:
PasswordAuthentication yes
Without this, many ssh clients will be denied access if the user submits the password rather than using public key authentication. The comments in the sshd_config file are potentially misunderstood for this parameter. It reads, "To disable tunneled clear text passwords, change to no here!". The 'clear text password' referred to here is still encrypted in the ssh tunnel, so is not visible to sniffers. In this case the term "tunneled clear text password" is only meant to imply the difference between the user typing in their password directly, versus submitting a key file.
This issue can come up after some updates because in older versions of the SSHD package, this value defaulted to yes, whereas in newer versions of the package, it is defaulting to no.

Disclaimer

This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for NetIQ/Novell/SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:3404214
  • Creation Date:08-JAN-07
  • Modified Date:27-APR-12
    • SUSESUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
      SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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