Permission is denied while connecting to server with ansible via ssh

I’m getting the error below when I’m writing this

ansible -m ping all
host1 | UNREACHABLE! => {
    "changed": false,
    "msg": "Failed to connect to the host via ssh: Permission denied (publickey,password).\r\n",
    "unreachable": true

I have gone through all the steps in this tutorial and now I’m stuck at step 3.

Any help is appreciated.

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  • From the Ansible master run ssh to the remote target and see if that works:
ssh <user>@<target>

If this works ssh is enabled, move on to the next step.

  • Try the following from the Ansible master:
ansible-playbook -i inventory.yaml --private-key=/home/<user_id>/.ssh/id_rsa <playbook>.yaml -u <user_id>

If this fails with the following error, steps listed after the error should fix:

  TASK [Gathering Facts] *********************************************************
  fatal: []: UNREACHABLE! => {"changed": false, "msg": "Authentication failed.", "unreachable": true}
 	to retry, use: --limit 
  PLAY RECAP *********************************************************************   : ok=0    changed=0    unreachable=1    failed=0   
  • On the remote host, move/rename the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file.

  • Then from the ansible master run the following:

ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/ <user-id>@<x-host>

// ssh-copy-id — use locally available keys to authorise logins on remote machine

  • This creates an authorized_keys file in the remote server ~/.ssh folder for the <user-id> user.

  • Now run the ansible playbook and should work.

This error usually occurs when their is no valid public key set for the target server.

First check whether you have valid public and private key generated for the user which you are using. Keep public key in target server and private key in control server Get the path for private key and configure it in ansible.cfg file(check ansible docs for this)

This could happen even if you have made sure the passwordless ssh between System A and System B (say using either ssh-copy-id command or by manually copying the public key i.e content of the file on System A to .ssh/authorized_keys file on System B. If this is happening, one of the reason could be the user home directories.

On System A the user home directory is say /home/tester and on System B, it is /users/tester, then passwordless ssh might not work. Make sure both users have same home directory solves this issue. I observed this case in CentOS machines and on making sure the home directories for users same, the issue resolved.