This is a question regarding the OpenSSH client on Linux, MacOSX and FreeBSD.

Normally, I log into systems using my SSH key.

Occasionally, I want my SSH client to ignore my SSH key and use a password instead. If I 'ssh hostname', my client prompts me for the Passphrase to my SSH key which is an annoyance. Instead, I want the client to simply ignore my SSH key, so that the server will ask me for my password instead.

I tried the following, but I am still prompted for the passphrase to my SSH key. After this, I am prompted for my password.

ssh -o PreferredAuthentications=password host.example.org

I want to do this on the client side, without any modification of the remote host.


Try ssh -o PreferredAuthentications=keyboard-interactive,password -o PubkeyAuthentication=no host.example.org

In ssh v2, keyboard-interactive is another way to say "password". The -o PubkeyAuthentication=no option instructs the client not to attempt key pair authentication.

  • 1
    And in fact 'ssh -o PreferredAuthentications=keyboard-interactive host' also works. I was thrown off by SSH_CONFIG(5), which still mentions the 'password' keyword. Thanks for the clarification. – Stefan Lasiewski Apr 7 '10 at 23:35
  • 12
    Correction: In SSH v2, both password and keyboard-interactive are valid, and they are different things. (password requires a password, and keyboard-interactive can technically be anything.) – grawity Apr 8 '10 at 12:17
  • 1
    Bill could you update your answer according to grawity's comment? Look at the output of these commands: lucian@XXX:~$ ssh -o PreferredAuthentications=keyboard-interactive -o PubkeyAuthentication=no host.example.org Permission denied (publickey,gssapi-with-mic,password). lucian@XXX:~$ ssh -o PreferredAuthentications=password -o PubkeyAuthentication=no host.example.org lucian@host.example.org's password: – Lucian Adrian Grijincu Mar 15 '12 at 21:43
  • What does your server configuration look like? I've never seen that difference. As well, that wouldn't answer the original question, they were trying password. – Bill Weiss Mar 17 '12 at 12:00
  • 5
    If you want to add this switch to ssh's config file (~/.ssh/config) it's PubkeyAuthentication no in that file. – slm Aug 24 '12 at 16:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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