My gitolite installation start to ask for password suddendly, I checked the /var/log/secure file and found this.

 sshd[9071]: User git not allowed because account is locked
 sshd[9072]: input_userauth_request: invalid user git

After a quick search i've read that the solution is

 sudo passwd -u git

But this gaves this answer:

 Unlocking password for user git.
 passwd: Warning: unlocked password would be empty.
 passwd: Unsafe operation (use -f to force)

I used -f to check and yes, it fixed the issue. But is there a security downside of doing this? I dont want this account to have a password, only use keys authentification.

1 Answer 1


The security downside is that now your git user has no password, and anybody can log in to it without a password (or a key)!

To resolve the problem, the account should not be locked, but should have a password, even if nobody ever uses the password. Set a random password for the account, and make sure the ssh keys are working correctly.

  • I tried and was not able to login. It asks for password, I press enter key and say pwd is not valid.
    – Arnold Roa
    Jan 5, 2015 at 2:24

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