Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I created a public/private key pair on a local machine using ssh-keygen. I entered a passphrase. I then used ssh-id-copy to put the public key on the remote machine.

When I ssh into the remote machine I'm asked for my passphrase after each each reboot on the local machine. Is this expected behavior? The local machine is using gentoo and the remote machine is using ubuntu.

Reference material I used:

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

This is expected behaviour. If you provide a pass phrase when generating a key pair then the pass phrase is use to encrypt the private key. You are being asked to provide the pass phrase so that the private key can be unlocked (decrypted) before it can be used to authenticate you to the remote host.

share|improve this answer

Check /var/log/secure of the server where you are trying to ssh for possible errors. Also make sure that permission of /home/<username>/.ssh is 700

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.