Verify Private and Public Key Authentication for SSH Server

This topic describes the process for disabling password authentication in the sshd_config file and enabling private/public key authentication to ensure that private and public key authentication is enabled for your SSH server.
  1. Open your SSH server configuration file in a text editor.
    The configuration file is located in the following directory:
    # /etc/ssh/sshd_config
  2. Ensure that PubkeyAuthentication yes has been added or uncommented, and that PasswordAuthentication yes has been commented out with a #.
    The section should look like the following:
    PubkeyAuthentication yes
    #PasswordAuthentication yes
    PasswordAuthentication no
  3. You must restart or reload the SSH server to apply your new settings. Restarting or reloading your SSH server does not impact currently connected users.
    To restart or reload your SSH server, use the following commands:
    OS Version Instructions
    RedHat (restart)
    $ sudo service sshd restart
    RedHat (reload)
    $ sudo service sshd reload
    Debian (restart)
    $ sudo /etc/init.d/ssh restart
    Debian (reload)
    $ sudo /etc/init.d/ssh reload
Private and public key authentication should now be enabled for your SSH server.