File system went read only after adding ssh key

  • Posted December 4, 2014

I followed this guide to set up ssh key on my digital ocean droplet, but since I made step 4 my file system went read-only. I changed /etc/ssh/sshd_config from PermitRootLogin yes to PermitRootLogin without-password and then reload ssh; and when I logged back in, I had no writing rights anymore.

I can log in using ssh root@ but it does not ask me for any password, and I can not modify any file.

Before doing this, I upgraded my ubuntu from 12.04 to 14.04, it asked me during the upgrade which setting did I want for PermitRootLogin and when I looked at /etc/ssh/sshd_config after the installation (and after adding my ssh key) it was set on PermitRootLogin yes.


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I ran dmesg | grep "EXT4-fs error" to see if I have any issues related to the filesystem / journaling system itself.

It returned many times: [68241.757233] EXT4-fs error (device vda): htree_dirblock_to_tree:892: inode #533953: block 2108070: comm updatedb.mlocat: bad entry in directory: rec_len is smaller than minimal - offset=0(0), inode=0, rec_len=0, name_len=0

And when I run sudo fsck -Af -M, it returns Unable to resolve 'UUID=XYZ:

fsck from util-linux 2.20.1
fsck.ext4: Unable to resolve 'UUID=b96601ba-7d51-4c5f-bfe2-63815708aabd'```

What can I do?

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After a Power cycle I had nothing anymore. I went to the Consol Access and I had to reboot. Then it asked me if I want to solve some problems. I said yes, and it solved them. Thanks!

Run this, and give me the output:

fsck -n

Also, if it comes up with errors, you have 2 choices, with choice 1 being:

  • Power down the system
  • From DO control panel, put system into recovery
  • boot the system
  • from web console, run “fsck -yf /dev/vda1”. If that fails, run “fsck -yf /dev/sda”
  • power down the machine after it completes
  • exit recovery mode
  • power system back up

Second choice is as follows:

  • Open up web console
  • reboot system
  • boot into single user mode
  • run fsck -r
  • reboot

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