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We have a debian testing server. When I am trying to access the server with scp it doesn't work the first time - the client says, that the remote host closed the connection. When i try the same action again - it works. Then the calls work for some minutes - but after (I think) 5 to 10 minutes it stops working again and the "first call" doesn't work again. After that it works again for 5 to 10 minutes.

Checking the syslog I can't see anything (we had the problem that the syslog is HUP - but we are working on this). Checking the auth.log it seems that the call is not getting through (I just see successful attempts in it).

Do you have any ideas on what could be wrong ?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You have an IP address problem, or maybe a MAC address problem.
Probably two computers with the same IP address.

To test it:
1. unconnect your Debian server
2. try to scp to it
3. if you have the same message explaining the host closed the connection... this is because you reached another computer
4. you then have to find the faulty computer (or change your Debian server's aIP address)

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thank you - that was exactly the problem - we had two computers with the same IP address (it looks like someone assigned a PC a fixed IP address and that conflicted with the address assigned from DHCP for our server) – bernhardrusch Mar 9 '12 at 7:25

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