"Server refused public-key signature despite accepting key!"

When I try to log in as root through PuTTY, I receive the above error. I try to login with my non-root admin user. Trying to access /var/log/auth.log gives me a “Permission denied” prompt. I do not know what’s happening or where to proceed.

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This question was answered by @SphericalCow:

usually, i have found a couple of reasons that may break ssh connectivity using keys:

  • the permissions on the private key (usually ~/.ssh/id_rsa) on your laptop or desktop may be too open. It should be no more than maybe 600 chmod 600 ~/.ssh/id_rsa

  • also, it could also be that the public key on the server’s ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file may have line breaks in the middle of the public where there shouldn’t be any. In the “vi” editor, :set list should display the hidden line breaks.

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