Cannot SSH or scp from one droplet to another

I have 3 droplets on the same vpc. I am unable to ssh and scp from one droplet to another. I am getting Permission denied (publickey).

Kubernetes has no issues with networking.

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Site Moderator
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June 15, 2022

Hello there,

You can check our article on How to Upload an SSH Public Key to an Existing Droplet

You can access the droplet from the DigitalOcean console and then temporary enable the PasswordAuthentication on your droplet and access the droplet with a password to upload the ssh-key.

If you haven’t created new pair of keys you’ll need to do that first.

You can enable PasswordAuthentication for your Droplet by modifying your /etc/ssh/sshd_config file. Once set to Yes restart the SSH service and connect via an SSH client for a more stable connection. You can then modify your ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file to add the appropriate public key.

You can then upload the key using this command:

  1. ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/mykey user@droplet

Hope that this helps! Regards, Alex

Bobby Iliev
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June 15, 2022


In addition to what has already been mentioned, you can create the SSH keys on each Droplet with the ssh-keygen command and then copy the public keys to the .ssh/authorized_keys file on the rest of the Droplets as described in the previous comment.

For more information, you can also check out the following tutorial:

Let me know how it goes!



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Site Moderator
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June 15, 2022

Hi @floatinglightseagreenshark,

So, it seems your Droplet’s are using only SSH keys as authentication methods. You’ll need to create SSH keys for your root user and add them to the other Droplet’s .ssh/authorized_keys file in order to have SSH access.

Basically, you login to the first Droplet, you create the SSH key, then copy the contents of the .ssh/ file and add it to the other 2 Droplet’s file .ssh/authorized_keys. Then repeat for the rest and you would be good to go.