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Getting SSH to choose the right key


On Bitbucket I have a work user and a personal user. This morning trying to push a project where my work user is a member, failed:

> git push
conq: repository access denied.
fatal: Could not read from remote repository.

Please make sure you have the correct access rights
and the repository exists.

The git remote looks like this:

> git remote -v
origin  git@bitbucket.org:<WORK_PROJECT>/<WORK_PROJECT>.git (fetch)
origin  git@bitbucket.org:<WORK_PROJECT>/<WORK_PROJECT>.git (push)

I even set up ~/.ssh/config to make sure my work SSH key (associated with my work SSH user) is being used on bitbucket.org:

> cat ~/.ssh/config
Host bitbucket.org
    IdentityFile %d/.ssh/<KEY_WORK>

Bitbucket’s troubleshooting suggests ssh -T git@bitbucket.org to check if authentication is working

> ssh -v -T git@bitbucket.org

OpenSSH_5.6p1, OpenSSL 0.9.8za 5 Jun 2014
debug1: Reading configuration data ~/.ssh/config
debug1: Applying options for bitbucket.org
debug1: Reading configuration data /etc/ssh_config
debug1: Applying options for *
debug1: Connecting to bitbucket.org [] port 22.
debug1: Connection established.
debug1: identity file ~/.ssh/<KEY_WORK> type 1
debug1: identity file ~/.ssh/<KEY_WORK>-cert type -1        <----   Yup, this is what I want, my work key being used

... protocol negotiation and fingerprint ...

debug1: Authentications that can continue: publickey
debug1: Next authentication method: publickey
debug1: Offering RSA public key: ~/.ssh/<KEY_PERSONAL>      <----   Wait, what?
debug1: Remote: Forced command: conq username:malthejorgensen

... ssh extensions ...

debug1: Authentication succeeded (publickey).
Authenticated to bitbucket.org ([]:22).

... entering interactive session, setting environment...

logged in as malthejorgensen.                               <----   My personal user :(

You can use git or hg to connect to Bitbucket. Shell access is disabled.

... bla bla bla, many bytes were sent ...

debug1: Exit status 0

As we can see SSH sees in my configuration that KEY_WORK should be used, and yet it ends up authenticating with KEY_PERSONAL and logs me in as my personal user.

The problem is the ssh-agent, and that KEY_WORK is not added to it. We can check that as follows:

> ssh-add -l
2048 09:c1:32:4a:e7:c2:05:6b:4e:52:71:aa:b8:ee:3e:53 ~/.ssh/KEY_PERSONAL (RSA)

Which shows that only KEY_PERSONAL is known to ssh-agent. We can add KEY_WORK to ssh-agent like this:

> ssh-add ~/.ssh/KEY_WORK
Identity added: ~/.ssh/KEY_WORK (~/.ssh/KEY_WORK)
> ssh-add -l
2048 09:c1:32:4a:e7:c2:05:6b:4e:52:71:aa:b8:ee:3e:53 ~/.ssh/KEY_PERSONAL (RSA)
2048 08:5b:1e:8e:a8:7d:06:61:dc:07:42:7b:ca:b7:49:bd ~/.ssh/KEY_WORK (RSA)

We can see that both keys are now known to ssh-agent. And now – it works:

> ssh -T git@bitbucket.org
logged in as malthe-at-socialsquare-dk.

You can use git or hg to connect to Bitbucket. Shell access is disabled.

In some cases you have to remove your personal key from ssh-agent (you can always re-add it later). You can remove it with ssh-add -d ~/.ssh/KEY_PERSONAL.