Why there is a difference in MaxAuthTries behavior ?

Iain Morgan imorgan at nas.nasa.gov
Thu Feb 12 05:59:44 AEDT 2015

On Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 14:32:44 +0530, sshuser GA wrote:
> Hi,
>   I understand MaxAuthTries is a parameter used to restrict the maximum
> number of authentication attempts. But I notice a difference in behavior
> when run from different client  versions.
>   The MaxAuthTries at the server side is 6.  The server side is running
> OpenSSH 6.6 version.
>   When  wrong password is given from an openssh client 6.1 version, it
> disconnects after 3 attempts.
>   When  wrong password is given from an openssh client 6.6 version, it
> disconnects after 5 attempts.
>   What is the reason for this difference ?  Shouldn't the behavior be the
> same, across both the clients, since MaxAuthTries is a server side
> parameter?

Keep in mind that MaxAuthTries is applied against _all_ authentication
methods -- not just password authentication. If you use ssh -v, I expect
that you will see that the apparent discrepancy is due to public-key or
hostbased authentication attempts.

Also, it may be that your clients have NumberOfPasswordPrompts set

Iain Morgan

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