So I am trying to get git to work with my repo server ( (debian) on my new server on AWS ( /

My repo's .git/config

    repositoryformatversion = 0
    filemode = true
    bare = false
    logallrefupdates = true
[branch "master"]
    remote = origin
    merge = refs/heads/master
[remote "origin"]
    url = git@
    fetch = +refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/origin/*

I'm getting this error:

[ec2-user@ip-10-0-0-111 html]$ sudo git pull
Permission denied (publickey).
fatal: Could not read from remote repository.

Please make sure you have the correct access rights
and the repository exists.

My public key is present in /home/git/.ssh/authorized_keys

I previously I was prompted for the password for the user git on my repo server (not my key file passphrase). I then disabled password auth for the git user, and received the permission denied instead. During this time and now with the error above I was able to successfully login via ssh:

ssh git@

With no password prompt or such:

debug1: Offering RSA public key: /home/ec2-user/.ssh/id_rsa
debug1: Server accepts key: pkalg ssh-rsa blen 279
debug1: Authentication succeeded (publickey).

A successful ssh login on the repo server ( looks like this in the /var/log/auth.log:

Feb 22 15:45:44 hostname sshd[20142]: Connection from port 50409
Feb 22 15:45:44 hostname sshd[20142]: Found matching RSA key: <fingerprint>
Feb 22 15:45:44 hostname sshd[20142]: Accepted publickey for git from port 50409 ssh2
Feb 22 15:45:44 hostname sshd[20142]: pam_unix(sshd:session): session opened for user git by (uid=0)

When I try git pull this is what auth.log looks like:

Feb 22 15:46:41 hostname sshd[20177]: Connection from port 50410

Then nothing more.

How can I debug the git ssh authentication failure for git when the normal ssh command works perfectly?


2 Answers 2


You do git pull under sudo, which is the problem. Doing only

git pull

will work for you. Also doing

sudo ssh git@

will fail for you. The problem is that sudo changes user and it does no longer see your identity file /home/ec2-user/.ssh/id_rsa (it searches in /root/.ssh/id_rsa). Do the pull with your normal user or copy/move your key to appropriate location for the target user (root).


Your ssh key is not unvalidate.

ssh-keygen -t rsa -C "your_email@example.com" will generate ssh key for the current user. Eg:

$ whoami

# It will generate the ssh key for user: nodejh
$ ssh-keygen -t rsa -C "jianghangscu@gmail.com

# Check that you are connecting to the correct server 
$ ssh -T git@github.com
Hi username! You've successfully authenticated...

sudo ssh-keygen -t rsa -C "jianghangscu@gmail.com will generate ssh key for root. So that ssh -T git@github.com will return Permission Denied (publickey), but sudo ssh -T git@github.com works fine.

If you want to generate ssh key for the user: admin, you can change current user to admin then generate ssh key.

# change the current user to admin
$ su admin
# generate ssh key for `admin`
$ ssh-keygen -t rsa -C "jianghangscu@gmail.com`

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