auto login failure: PEM_read_PrivateKey

Darren Tucker dtucker at
Sat Jul 2 11:07:00 EST 2005

Bill Rees wrote:
>     Can anyone tell me what the following message implies?  What does 
> PEM_read_PrivateKey do and why would it fail?
>     This is the result of trying to setup ssh for autologin.  Though I 
> follow the man page, it doesn't work.
>         debug1: PEM_read_PrivateKey failed

THis means that attempting to read the private key 
/home/breeze/.ssh/id_dsa for some reason.  Potential reasons are:

a) corrupt private key file.  Try regenerating it with ssh-keygen.

b) openssl build problems.  Did OpenSSL's "make test" pass?

What platform and compiler are you using?

You can test if OpenSSL can read the keys with something like:
$ openssl dsa -in ~/.ssh/id_dsa -noout

Darren Tucker (dtucker at
GPG key 8FF4FA69 / D9A3 86E9 7EEE AF4B B2D4  37C9 C982 80C7 8FF4 FA69
     Good judgement comes with experience. Unfortunately, the experience
usually comes from bad judgement.

More information about the openssh-unix-dev mailing list