Permission Denied (Publickey) GSSAPI Keyex GSSAPI with Mic

In the realm of secure communication between systems, SSH (Secure Shell) serves as a cornerstone. However, encountering errors like “Permission Denied (Publickey) GSSAPI Keyex GSSAPI with Mic” can be frustrating and mystifying for users. This article aims to demystify this error, explore its causes, and provide practical solutions for troubleshooting.

Understanding SSH and its Importance:

SSH is a cryptographic network protocol that provides a secure channel over an unsecured network. It enables secure access to remote systems, facilitating activities like remote administration, file transfers, and tunneling. Authentication in SSH typically involves public-key cryptography, where a pair of cryptographic keys – public and private – are used to authenticate the client and server.

The “Permission Denied (Publickey) GSSAPI Keyex GSSAPI with Mic” Error:

This error message is commonly encountered when attempting to establish an SSH connection. It typically indicates a failure in the authentication process. Let’s break down each component of the error message:

  1. “Permission Denied”: This suggests that the authentication process has failed due to lack of permission.
  2. “(Publickey)”: Indicates that public key authentication was attempted.
  3. “GSSAPI Keyex”: Refers to the GSSAPI (Generic Security Services Application Program Interface) key exchange method.
  4. “GSSAPI with Mic”: Indicates the use of GSSAPI for integrity and confidentiality protection.

Common Causes of the Error: Several factors can contribute to the occurrence of this error:

  1. Incorrect SSH Key: If the public key configured on the server does not match the private key provided by the client, authentication will fail.
  2. Improper SSH Configuration: Misconfigurations in SSH server settings or client configurations can lead to authentication failures.
  3. GSSAPI Configuration: Issues with the GSSAPI configuration on either the client or server side can trigger this error.
  4. Permission Settings: Insufficient permissions on the server-side directories or files associated with SSH can result in authentication failures.

Troubleshooting Steps:

Resolving the “Permission Denied (Publickey) GSSAPI Keyex GSSAPI with Mic” error involves systematic troubleshooting. Here are steps to diagnose and address the issue:

  1. Verify SSH Key Pair:

    • Ensure that the public key configured on the server matches the private key provided by the client.
    • Double-check the permissions of the .ssh directory and the authorized_keys file on the server.
  2. Review SSH Configuration:

    • Check SSH server configuration files (e.g., sshd_config) for any misconfigurations.
    • Verify client-side SSH configuration files (e.g., config, known_hosts) for correctness.
  3. Disable GSSAPI Authentication:

    • Temporarily disable GSSAPI authentication on both the client and server sides to determine if the error persists.
    • Edit SSH configuration files to disable GSSAPI authentication options.
  4. Check Permission Settings:

    • Ensure that the user attempting to connect has appropriate permissions on the server-side directories and files.
    • Adjust permissions using chmod if necessary.
  5. Generate New SSH Key Pair:

    • If verification indicates issues with the SSH key pair, generate a new key pair and update the server’s authorized_keys file.
  6. Test Connectivity:

    • Use verbose mode (-v or -vv) with SSH commands to gain more insight into the authentication process.
    • Attempt to connect from different client machines to isolate potential client-specific issues.


Encountering the “Permission Denied (Publickey) GSSAPI Keyex GSSAPI with Mic” error in SSH connections can be perplexing, but understanding its causes and employing systematic troubleshooting steps can help resolve the issue. By verifying SSH key pairs, reviewing configurations, and ensuring proper permissions, users can overcome authentication challenges and establish secure connections with remote systems. Remember, patience and persistence are key when troubleshooting SSH errors, and by following the outlined steps, users can navigate through such challenges effectively.

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