Scenario 1. I am doing this from /home/deploy directory

I am trying to set up ssh with github for capistrano deployment. this has been an absolute nightmare.

when I do ssh [email protected] as the deploy account I get

Permission denied (publickey).

so may be the key is not being found, so If I do a

ssh-add /home/deploy/.ssh/id_rsa

Could not open a connection to your authentication agent.

(i did verify that the ssh-agent was running) If I do exec ssh-agent bash and then repeat the ssh-add then the key does get added and I can ssh into github.

Now I exit from the ssh connection to my server and ssh back in and I can't ssh into github anymore!

Scenario 2

if I login to my remote server and then cd into my .ssh directory and ssh into github then it all works fine

I guess there is a problem with locating the key and for some reason the agent isn't funcitoning correctly.

Any ideas?

Her is a pastie with more details..my .bashrc, permissions etc.


2 Answers 2


Is it possible that you are by default trying to add to the system's ssh-agent and you don't have permission? or it just isn't be launched at all? Github has a page on having ssh-agent launch on login, did you give this a look? http://help.github.com/working-with-key-passphrases/


Try removing line 5 'IdenityFile' in your local config.

Reasoning. By defualt ssh should be looking for id_rsa as your private key. But they why you are defining it is wrong. You either need the full path or at least ~/.ssh/id_rsa. But like I said before, you probably don't need it.

The other reason, in your verbose loggin I see these two lines

debug2: key: id_rsa ((nil))
debug1: Trying private key: id_rsa
debug2: we did not send a packet, disable method

Which is telling me that it's using the key id_rsa (which you defined) but it's empty or can't find it.

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