When I try to log into SSH I get a Permission Denied error

If you’re struggling with SSH and server management, try our managed products Cloudways and App Platform. Cloudways deploys pre-installed software stacks onto Droplets, and App Platform deploys and scales apps directly from your code repository, along with databases and serverless functions, no SSH or server administration required.

There are a few reasons why you could be getting a “Permission Denied” error when attempting to log in using SSH. If you receive this error, check for the following issues:

  • The password is incorrect
  • The SSH key is missing on your local computer or on the Droplet
  • You are trying to use a password, but PasswordAuthentication is disabled in sshd_config
  • You are trying to use an SSH key, but key based authentication is disabled in sshd_config
  • The authorized_keys file has the wrong permissions¬†

If you’ve checked for all of these conditions and are still receiving a “Permission Denied” error, you can use the Recovery Console to regain SSH access.

Edit your Droplet’s sshd_config file to change its SSH port.
If you lose the private SSH key you use to log into a Droplet, you need to re-enable password authentication to recover access.
Problems with SSH authentication includes permission denied with SSH keys and passwords.