Ubuntu 20.04 asks for root passphrase when I SSH login as non-root

As I was following this tutorial (, I created a new user account at step 2, including an account password. Then, I successfully added sudo privileges to this user account (step 3), set up the basic firewall and enables external access for my regular user (step 5).

So far, so good.

Now, when I externally login using ssh user@ipaddress, Ubuntu 20.04 asks for my passphrase, but it permits only the passphrase for my root user. Isn’t that strange? What if I add another user that is not me. He or she will have to know the passphrase for my root user account. That is not really save.

Please let me know what is good practice here.

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Accepted Answer

Hi @KatoVonKatz,

I think, at Step 2 — Creating a New User, you entered your root password instead of a new password for your regular user. You should set a new password for your regular user as following:

  1. Log in your regular user via SSH:

    1. ssh user@ipaddress
  2. Change the password:

    1. passwd

    Enter your root password first, then enter a new password twice when prompted.

  3. Then log out:

    1. exit
  4. Finally, log in again with the new password:

    1. ssh user@ipaddress

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Hi @KatoVonKatz,

Following the tutorial lets, you create a user with sudo privileges so that you don’t need to use root for everything.

If you wish to have a user that’s being accessed by another person, you shouldn’t rsync your SSH key to the newly created folder .ssh user’s folder but rather use the key of the person that’s going to use this user.

Regards, KFSys