Can't open ssh/authorized_keys of user

I know this may be trivial for some of you.

I’m not a linux expert, and I’m trying to play around with git.
To do so I wanted to try to add my public SSH key to the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys of my user git.

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  • the problem though is that when I login with putty into my server with the git user, I can’t access any file called ~/.ssh/authorized_keys.

    So I tried to do that with root, maybe this is the solution, but I thought there was one authorized_keys per user.

    I can see the authorized key, but I don’t wannat mess everything up, so I would like to be clear on this one.
    Is there a way to use my git user account and to modify the ssh/authorized_keys?

    Thanks a lot!

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  • 4 Solutions collect form web for “Can't open ssh/authorized_keys of user”

    Sounds like you’re almost there! I’m not sure exactly what you have and haven’t done though, so I’ll explain the whole process.

    First, I’m guessing (because you’re using puTTY) that your computer runs Windows? If so, first you’ll need to install Git for Windows, which you can download from the official Git website. Download it and install it, accepting the default choices in the installer.

    That will leave you with an item in your Start menu called Git Bash. You’ll use this to perform what comes next. (You don’t actually need Git itself installed, but the Git for Windows installer adds some additional tools like ssh-keygen that you will need.)

    If your computer is actually running Linux or Mac OS X rather than Windows then you already have the tools you need. You can follow the same instructions, but instead of using Git Bash to enter commands, use a terminal window.

    From now on, I’ll just refer to typing things “in the terminal”. If you’re using Windows, type these things in the Git Bash window.

    Step 1: On your own computer, check for an SSH key pair

    In the terminal, type:

    ls ~/.ssh/id_rsa*

    This should list two files: id_rsa and If they exist, move on to step 2. If not, type:


    then follow the prompts to create them. Then run the ls command again to confirm that they’re now there.

    Step 2: Upload your public SSH key to the server

    The public key is the one called You can upload it to the server using the scp command:

    scp ~/.ssh/

    Enter the git user’s password when prompted.

    Step 3: add your key to the git user’s authorized_keys file

    First SSH in to the server as the git user:


    Enter the git user’s password again. Once you’re logged in as the git user, type the following:

    mkdir -p ~/.ssh/

    This will create the .ssh directory if it doesn’t already exist. If it does exist, it doesn’t do anything.

    Now add your key to the authorized_keys file:

    cat ~/ >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

    That will take the contents of, the file that you just uploaded, and add them to the end of the authorized_keys file. If authorized_keys doesn’t exist, this command will create it first.

    (Note: Be really careful to type two right angled brackets (>>) in that command line. Two right angled brackets means append the contents of to the authorized_keys file. If you only use one that means replace the contents of authorized_keys with the contents of, and you don’t want to do that.)

    You can check this has worked by running cat on each file and making sure that you can see the contents of at the end of authorized_keys:

    cat ~/
    cat ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

    Once you’ve confirmed that, delete; you won’t need it again.

    rm ~/.ssh/

    Finally, set permissions on the .ssh directory and .ssh/authorized_keys so that only the owner of those files (the git user) can access them. Otherwise, the SSH server will refuse to use them. So:

    chmod 700 ~/.ssh
    chmod 400 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

    That makes the directory usable only by the git user, and the file inside it only accessible to the git user.

    You should find that you’re now good to go!

    The .ssh directory and the file authorized_keys do not exist by default, you must create them. Make sure that the directory has permissions 0700 and the files in it have permissions 0600, or ssh will not work.

    I had the same issue, this is what fixed it for me:

    chown -R NEW_USER /home/NEW_USER
    chown -R NEW_USER /opt/git

    Turns out that I had the wrong file owner which I probably messed up when I was creating the user. Of course my new user was ‘git’.

    The way this messed up the SSH connect was that the user ‘git’ could not access ‘~/.ssh/authorized_keys’.

    Hope that helps someone else out.

    This Gist Helped me

    The trick was to $ ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_custom

    My problem was multiple git hub accounts on one local machine.

    Git Baby is a git and github fan, let's start git clone.