With this error message an SSH command to Gerrit is rejected if the SSH authentication is not successful.

The SSH protocol can use Public-key Cryptography for authentication. In general configurations, Gerrit will authenticate you by the public keys known to you. Optionally, it can be configured by the administrator to allow for kerberos authentication instead.

In any case, verify that you are using the correct username for the SSH command and that it is typed correctly (case sensitive). You can look up your username in the Gerrit Web UI under 'Settings' → 'Profile'.

If you are facing this problem and using an SSH keypair, do the following:

  1. Verify that you have uploaded your public SSH key for your Gerrit account. To do this go in the Gerrit Web UI to 'Settings' → 'SSH Public Keys' and check that your public SSH key is there. If your public SSH key is not there you have to upload it.

  2. Verify that you are using the correct private SSH key. To find out which private SSH key is used test the SSH authentication as described below. From the trace you should see which private SSH key is used.

Debugging kerberos issues can be quite hard given the complexity of the protocol. In case you are using kerberos authentication, do the following:

  1. Verify that you have acquired a valid initial ticket. On a Linux machine, you can acquire one using the kinit command. List all your tickets using the klist command. It should list all principals for which you have acquired a ticket and include a principal name corresponding to your Gerrit server, for example HOST/gerrit.mydomain.tld@MYDOMAIN.TLD. Note that tickets can expire and require you to re-run kinit periodically.

  2. Verify that your SSH client is using kerberos authentication. For OpenSSH clients this can be controlled using the GSSAPIAuthentication setting. For more information see SSH kerberos configuration.

Test SSH authentication

To test the SSH authentication you can run the following SSH command. This command will print out a detailed trace which is helpful to analyze problems with the SSH authentication:

  $ ssh -vv -p 29418 john.doe@git.example.com

If the SSH authentication is successful you should find the following lines in the output:


  debug1: Authentication succeeded (publickey).


  ****    Welcome to Gerrit Code Review    ****

  Hi John Doe, you have successfully connected over SSH.

  Unfortunately, interactive shells are disabled.
  To clone a hosted Git repository, use:

  git clone ssh://john.doe@git.example.com:29418/REPOSITORY_NAME.git