I'm trying to access a Compute instance through SSH in my bitbucket-pipeline, but for some reason, anything I try to do doesn't work, so I'm obviously missing something. I created a service account in my Google Cloud project. I gave this service following IAM permissions:

  • Compute OS Admin Login
  • Compute OS Login

In my pipeline I have a following code:

apk add --no-cache openssh-client python2-dev
wget -O ~/gc-sdk.tar.gz https://dl.google.com/dl/cloudsdk/channels/rapid/downloads/google-cloud-sdk-261.0.0-linux-x86_64.tar.gz
tar xvzf ~/gc-sdk.tar.gz -C ~/
export PATH="$PATH:/root/google-cloud-sdk/bin"
~/google-cloud-sdk/install.sh -q
gcloud auth activate-service-account --key-file ${GCLOUD_KEY_FILE}

It is tested and works. I'm authorized as a service, which I can test by being able to pull docker images from Container Registry in Google Cloud (with proper permissions set for this service).

In my Compute Engine's metadata I have:

enable-oslogin  TRUE

And finally in my bitbucket-pipeline I have an SSH key configured, that is also added to my Compute Engine's metadata (I think this shouldn't be required if oslogin is enabled?).

However if I try to run gcloud compute ssh --project myproject myinstance I'm getting:

Permission denied (publickey).
ERROR: (gcloud.compute.ssh) [/usr/bin/ssh] exited with return code [255]

What step is missing here for me to be able to just SSH into my Compute Engine instance as a service?

Added: I discovered that it actually works when I give my service the Editor role for the whole project. It's quite over-permissive though, but at least now I know that the issue is with permissions. So what are the least permissive IAM settings for this to work? I tried few from Compute Engine category but I wasn't able to figure it out.

1 Answer 1


This documentation specifies the necessary OS login roles on a user account as well as on a service account.

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.