How to log in as non root user via SSH?

I just created my first Ubuntu droplet and supplied my public SSH key which is contained in ~/.ssh/ on my local machine at the time I was creating my droplet. I can SSH into my machine as root just fine via the command ssh root@remote_host where remote_host is my droplet’s IP address as given in the console. However, I would like to prohibit root logon to my droplet.

I created a new user by executing the commands adduser newusername followed by gpasswd -a newusername sudo to give the new user elevated privileges. I then manually copied over the contents of my public SSH key (from my local machine) following these instructions over to newusername.

$ mkdir .ssh
$ chmod 700 .ssh
$ cd .ssh
$ vim authorized_keys

I then pasted in the public key and saved the file

$ chmod 600 authorized_keys
$ exit
# service ssh restart

When I tried to SSH in from my local machine using the command ssh newusername@remote_host, I get the message Permission denied (publickey). I even went back into the droplet and added the line AllowUsers newusername to the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file but keep getting the same error.

UPDATE: I also tried running the following commands on my local machine, which is also running Ubuntu, but this did not work either:

$ eval `ssh-agent -s`
$ ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa
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Accepted Answer

I finally ended up solving this issue by following these directions from another thread.

I fixed the problem by putting my root public key to user’s .ssh/authorized_keys file. now I can login from my machine with root username to remote machine with myuser account.

issue this command by root

ssh -p ‘ssh port’ myuser@remoteip


The users home directory needs to be owned by the user in question, as does the .ssh directory and the authorized_keys file.

For example, a slightly different way of doing it that I use.

Create Directories and Files

mkdir -p /home/myuser/.ssh
touch /home/myuser/.ssh/authorized_keys

Add The New User

useradd -d /home/myuser myuser

Add User to sudo Group

usermod -aG sudo myuser

Set Proper Permissions

chown myuser:myuser /home/myuser/.ssh
chown myuser:myuser /home/myuser/.ssh/authorized_keys
chmod 700 /home/myuser/.ssh
chmod 600 /home/myuser/.ssh/authorized_keys

Setup SSH Keys for myuser

echo "ssh-rsa ...." >> /home/myuser/.ssh/authorized_keys

Setup a Password for myuser

passwd myuser

That way you can escalate using sudo .....


ssh myuser@droplet_ip -i myuser

Where myuser is the user we just created and setup, and -i myuser tells SSH to use the key that I have locally on my MacBook.

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