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When using SSH to connect to my VM, the process hangs indefinitely when the VM asks the metadata server for an authentication token. This happens when using a browser shell (the SSH button on the VM tab) and also when using Cloud Shell. This is the output from the serial console, which I am able to connect to.

serialport: Connected to peerless-rite-139921.us-central1-b.wrangl-reload port 1 (session ID: 305e0a35ea71dec437aaae0302eb479de1d20562, active connections: 1).
Jul 25 18:38:34 wrangl-reload dhclient[567]: DHCPACK of 10.128.0.3 from 169.254.169.254
Jul 25 18:38:34 wrangl-reload dhclient[567]: bound to 10.128.0.3 -- renewal in 37979 seconds.
Jul 25 18:46:11 wrangl-reload collectd[692]: write_gcm: Asking metadata server for auth token
Jul 25 19:19:47 wrangl-reload systemd[1]: Starting Daily apt download activities...
Jul 25 19:19:54 wrangl-reload systemd[1]: Started Daily apt download activities.
Jul 25 19:19:54 wrangl-reload systemd[1]: apt-daily.timer: Adding 11h 43min 24.702830s random time.
Jul 25 19:19:54 wrangl-reload systemd[1]: apt-daily.timer: Adding 2h 56min 56.298278s random time.
Jul 25 19:21:11 wrangl-reload collectd[692]: write_gcm: Asking metadata server for auth token
Jul 25 19:53:11 wrangl-reload collectd[692]: write_gcm: Asking metadata server for auth token
Jul 25 20:51:11 wrangl-reload collectd[692]: write_gcm: Asking metadata server for auth token

In addition, if I try to SSH from my Mac using Terminal using a public key I created locally, I get Permission denied (publickey). I have tried accessing the server with SSH from other VMs, which also resulted in Permission denied (publickey).

The disk is not full. I have tried using a startup-script in metadata, but that too fails.

The firewall rules are project-wide and we have two other VMs in the same project, which are both reachable with SSH.

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  • The log line means that the Stackdriver agent is picking logs. Doesn't necessarily seem to be directly related to SSH. What else is there? Something like GCEGuestAgent maybe? It provisions SSH users. Also, you tried "accessing the server from other VMs", did it work? Same VPC? Firewall rules? Are you using SSH keys in the metadata? If so, have you tried re-adding them? What's your setup SSH-wise? – yyyyahir Jul 25 '20 at 0:17
  • @yyyyahir Thanks. I edited the question as much as I could to address your comment. I see no GCEGuestAgent in the console output. I am able to access the other two VMs in the project by clicking the SSH button. The firewall rules are project-wide, and I have reinstalled keys in metadata several times. – Tjalsma Jul 25 '20 at 21:01
  • I'm skeptical the messages are related to SSH. The originator is collectd trying to reach the metadata server, a typical operation for Stackdriver. Could be a transient failure in the metadata server. Have you tried setting SSH keys manually? What's the full SSH client debug output? If the firewall is correctly set in GCP, is the same at iptables/ufw level? Have you nmap'ed your server ports? – yyyyahir Jul 28 '20 at 7:13
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After a couple rounds of Google support, they recommended re-installing the Google Guest Environment. They said, "It's very sensitive. If you change permissions on a single file, it can break." After reinstalling, the issue was fixed.

https://cloud.google.com/compute/docs/images/guest-environment https://cloud.google.com/compute/docs/images/install-guest-environment#in_place

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