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

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

up vote 168 down vote accepted

Try ssh -o PreferredAuthentications=keyboard-interactive,password -o PubkeyAuthentication=no

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
  • 11
    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 Permission denied (publickey,gssapi-with-mic,password). lucian@XXX:~$ ssh -o PreferredAuthentications=password -o PubkeyAuthentication=no'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

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