[Solved] Git: How to solve Permission denied (publickey) error when using Git?

I’m on Mac Snow Leopard and I just installed git.

I just tried

git clone [email protected]:cakebook.git

but that gives me this error:

Initialized empty Git repository in `/Users/username/Documents/cakebook/.git/`
Permission denied (publickey).
fatal: The remote end hung up unexpectedly

What am I missing?
I’ve also tried doing ssh-keygen with no passphase but still same error.

Solution #1:

If the user has not generated a ssh public/private key pair set before

This info is working on theChaw but can be applied to all other git repositories which support SSH pubkey authentications. (See [gitolite][1], gitlab or github for example.)

First start by setting up your own public/private key pair set. This
can use either DSA or RSA, so basically any key you setup will work.
On most systems you can use ssh-keygen.

  • First you’ll want to cd into your .ssh directory. Open up the terminal and run:

cd ~/.ssh && ssh-keygen

  • Next you need to copy this to your clipboard.
  • On OS X run: cat id_rsa.pub | pbcopy
  • On Linux run: cat id_rsa.pub | xclip
  • On Windows (via Cygwin/Git Bash) run: cat id_rsa.pub | clip
  • On Windows (Powershell) run: Get-Content id_rsa.pub | Set-Clipboard (Thx to @orion elenzil)
  • Add your key to your account via the website.
  • Finally setup your .gitconfig.
  • git config --global user.name "bob"
  • git config --global user.email [email protected]
    (don’t forget to restart your command line to make sure the config is reloaded)

That’s it you should be good to clone and checkout.

Further information can be found at https://help.github.com/articles/generating-ssh-keys (thanks to @Lee Whitney)
[1]: https://github.com/sitaramc/gitolite

If the user has generated a ssh public/private key pair set before

  • check which key have been authorized on your github or gitlab account settings
  • determine which corresponding private key must be associated from your local computer

eval $(ssh-agent -s)

  • define where the keys are located

ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa

Respondent: Rufinus

Solution #2:

More extensive troubleshooting and even automated fixing can be done with:

ssh -vT [email protected]

Alternatively, according to below comments, we could issue:

ssh -vT [email protected]

or substitute gitlab/github with whatever Git Instance your organisation is running.

Source: https://help.github.com/articles/error-permission-denied-publickey/

Respondent: Steve K

Solution #3:

This error can happen when you are accessing the SSH URL (Read/Write) instead of Git Read-Only URL but you have no write access to that repo.

Sometimes you just want to clone your own repo, e.g. deploy to a server. In this case you actually only need READ-ONLY access. But since that’s your own repo, GitHub may display SSH URL if that’s your preference. In this situation, if your remote host’s public key is not in your GitHub SSH Keys, your access will be denied, which is expected to happen.

An equivalent case is when you try cloning someone else’s repo to which you have no write access with SSH URL.

In a word, if your intent is to clone-only a repo, use HTTPS URL (https://github.com/{user_name}/{project_name}.git) instead of SSH URL ([email protected]:{user_name}/{project_name}.git), which avoids (unnecessary) public key validation.

Update: GitHub is displaying HTTPS as the default protocol now and this move can probably reduce possible misuse of SSH URLs.

Respondent: kavinyao

Solution #4:

The github help link helped me sort out this problem. Looks like the ssh key was not added to the ssh-agent. This is what I ended up doing.

Command 1:

Ensure ssh-agent is enabled. The command starts the ssh-agent in the background:

eval "$(ssh-agent -s)"

Command 2:

Add your SSH key to the ssh-agent:

ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa
Respondent: jarora

Solution #5:

Got the same error report.

Fixed with using the HTTPS instead of the SSH protocol. Since I don’t want to set “SSH keys” for a test PC.

Change URL to HTTPS when clone:

git clone https://github.com/USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git

My problem is a little bit different: I have the URL set to SSH when adding an existing local repo to remote, by using:

git remote add origin ssh://github.com/USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git

To fix it, reset the URL to HTTPS:

git remote set-url origin https://github.com/USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git

BTW, you may check your URL using the command:

git remote -v
origin  https://github.com/USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git (fetch)
origin  https://github.com/USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git (push)

Hope this will help some one like me. 😀

Respondent: Robina Li

Solution #6:

This works for me:

ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa
Respondent: Wouter Schoofs

Solution #7:

I was struggling with same problem that’s what i did and i was able clone the repo. I followed these procedure for iMac.

First Step : Checking if we already have the public SSH key.

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Enter ls -al ~/.ssh to see if existing SSH keys are present:

Check the directory listing to see if you already have a public SSH key.Default public are one of the following d_dsa.pub,id_ecdsa.pub,id_ed25519.pub,id_rsa.pub

If you don’t find then go to step 2 otherwise follow step 3

Step 2 : Generating public SSH key

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Enter followong command with you valid email address that you use for github ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "[email protected]"
  3. You will see following in terminal Generating public/private rsa key pair. When it prompts to"Enter a file in which to save the key," press Enter. This accepts the default file location. When it prompts to Enter a file in which to save the key (/Users/you/.ssh/id_rsa): [Press enter] Just press enter again.
    At the prompt, type a secure passphrase.
  4. Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): [Type a passphrase] press enter if you don’t want to Enter same passphrase again: [Type passphrase again] press enter again

This will generate id_rsa.pub

Step 3: Adding your SSH key to the ssh-agent

  1. Interminal type eval "$(ssh-agent -s)"
  2. Add your SSH key to the ssh-agent. If you are using an existing SSH
    key rather than generating a new SSH key, you’ll need to replace
    id_rsa in the command with the name of your existing private key
    file. Enter this command $ ssh-add -K ~/.ssh/id_rsa

Now copy the SSH key and also add it to you github account

  1. In terminal enter this command with your ssh file name pbcopy <
    This will copy the file to your clipboard
    Now open you github account Go to Settings > SSH and GPG keys > New SSH key Enter title and paste the key from clipboard and save it. Voila you’re done.
Respondent: Zeeshan Shabbir

Solution #8:

Note that (at least for some projects) you must have a github account with an ssh key.

Look at the keys listed in your authentication agent (ssh-add -l)
(if you don’t see any, add one of your existing keys with ssh-add /path/to/your/key (eg: ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa))
(if you don’t have any keys, first create one. See: http://rcsg-gsir.imsb-dsgi.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/documents/internet/node31.html or just google ssh-keygen)

To verify that you have a key associated with your github account:

Go to: https://github.com/settings/ssh

You should see at least one key with a hash key matching one of the hashes you saw when you typed ssh-add -l just a minute ago.

If you don’t, add one, then try again.

Respondent: Mason Bryant

Solution #9:

Another possibility on Windows, which is not covered in any of these answers, and is not covered in the git or github docs on troubleshooting:

git may be using a different openssh executable than you think it is.

I was receiving the Permission denied (public key) error when trying to clone or pull from github and ssh.dev.azure.com, and I’d followed all the instructions and verified that my SSH keys were setup correctly (from SSH’s standpoint) using ssh -vT [email protected] and ssh -vT [email protected]. And was still getting these errors:

[email protected]: Permission denied (publickey).
fatal: Could not read from remote repository.

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

I eventually figured out that the problem is that Git for Windows, and Windows, both have their own versions of openssh. This is documented here: https://github.com/desktop/desktop/issues/5641

I was relying on the Windows ssh-agent service to store my ssh key passphrases, so git (with it’s separate version of openssh) couldn’t read my private keys. I consider it a bug that this error message is used – it’s misleading.

The fix was:

git config --global core.sshCommand "'C:WindowsSystem32OpenSSHssh.exe'"

Or in your ~/.gitconfig:

    sshCommand = 'C:WindowsSystem32OpenSSHssh.exe'

Perhaps this will be fixed in git for Windows soon, but this is the 2nd time I’ve wasted time on this issue.

Respondent: crimbo

Solution #10:

Visual guide (Windows)

1 of 2. Git batch side

1.1. Open git batch (Download her)
enter image description here

1.2. Paste the text below (Change to your GitHub account email)

$ ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "[email protected]"

enter image description here

1.3. Press Enter (Accepts the default file location)
enter image description here

1.4. Click Enter Twice (Or set SSH key passphrases – Gitbub passphrases docs)

> Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): [Type a passphrase]
> Enter same passphrase again: [Type passphrase again]

1.5. The key generate:

Your identification has been saved in /c/Users/user/.ssh/id_rsa…

1.6. Copy the SSH key to your clipboard.

$ clip < ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub

2 of 2. Github website user side

Under user setting
enter image description here

SSH and GPG keys => New SSH key:
enter image description here

Paste the code from step 1.6
enter image description here

Done 🙂

enter image description here

If someone doesn’t want to use SSH use HTTPS :

enter image description here

Github docs: https://docs.github.com/en/github/authenticating-to-github/connecting-to-github-with-ssh

Respondent: Ezra Siton

Solution #11:

I met the same issue because of I was thought the difference between SSH and HTTPS is



So I changed from HTTPS to SSH just by changing https:// to ssh:// nothing on the end of the url was changed.

But the truth is:


[email protected]:USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git

Which means I changed ssh://github.com/USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git to [email protected]:USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git it works.

Stupid error but hope helps someone!

Respondent: William Hu

Solution #12:

I had a slight different situation, I was logged on to a remote server and was using git on the server, when I ran any git command I got the same message

   Permission denied (publickey).
   fatal: The remote end hung up unexpectedly

The way I fixed it was by changing the file /etc/ssh_config on my Mac.

ForwardAgent no 


ForwardAgent yes
Respondent: Richipal

Solution #13:

I had to copy my ssh keys to the root folder.
Google Cloud Compute Engine running Ubuntu 18.04

sudo cp ~/.ssh/* /root/.ssh/
Respondent: Kandarp

Solution #14:

One of the easiest way

go to terminal-

  git push <Git Remote path> --all
Respondent: Vizllx

Solution #15:

These are the steps I followed in windows 10

  1. Open Git Bash.

  2. Generate Public Key:

    ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "[email protected]"
  3. Copy generated key to the clipboard (works like CTRL+C)

    clip < ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub
  4. Browser, go to Github => Profile=> Settings => SSH and GPG keys => Add Key

  5. Provide the key name and paste clipboard (CTRL+V).

  6. Finally, test your connection (Git bash)

    ssh -T [email protected]

enter image description here


Solution #16:

On Windows, make sure all your apps agree on HOME. Msys will surprisingly NOT do it for you. I had to set an environment variable because ssh and git couldn’t seem to agree on where my .ssh directory was.

Respondent: Jason

Solution #17:

Are you in a corporate environment? Is it possible that your system variables have recently changed? Per this SO answer, ssh keys live at %HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%.sshid_rsa.pub. So if %HOMEDRIVE% recently changed, git doesn’t know where to look for your key, and thus all of the authentication stuff.

Try running ssh -vT [email protected]. Take note of where the identity file is located. For me, that was pointing not to my normal UsersMyLogin but rather to a network drive, because of a change to environment variables pushed at the network level.

The solution? Since my new %HOMEDRIVE% has the same permissions as my local files, I just moved my .ssh folder there, and called it a day.

Respondent: Andrew

Solution #18:

Guys this is how it worked for me:

  1. Open terminal and go to user [See attached image]
  2. Open .ssh folder and make sure it doesn’t have any file like id_rsa or id_rsa.pub otherwise sometimes it wont properly rewrite files
  3. git –version [Check for git installation and version]
  4. git config –global user.email “your email id”
  5. git config –global user.name “your name”
  6. git config –list [make sure you have set your name & email]
  7. cd ~/.ssh
  8. ssh-keygen, it prompts for saving file, allow it
  9. cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub [Access your public key & copy the key to gerrit settings]

Note: You should not be using the sudo command with Git. If you have a very good reason you must use sudo, then ensure you are using it with every command (it’s probably just better to use su to get a shell as root at that point). If you generate SSH keys without sudo and then try to use a command like sudo git push, you won’t be using the same keys that you generated

enter image description here

enter image description here

Respondent: vikram jeet singh

Solution #19:

The basic GIT instructions did not make a reference to the SSH key stuff. Following some of the links above, I found a git help page that explains, step-by-step, exactly how to do this for various operating systems (the link will detect your OS and redirect, accordingly):


It walks through everything needed for GITHub and also gives detailed explanations such as “why add a passphrase when creating an RSA key.” I figured I’d post it, in case it helps someone else…

Respondent: gMale

Solution #20:

I hit this error because I needed to give my present working directory permissions 700:

chmod -R 700 /home/ec2-user/
Respondent: duhaime

Solution #21:

In addition to Rufinus’ reply, the shortcut to copy your ssh key to the clipboard in Windows is:

  • type id_rsa.pub | clip


Respondent: Jonathan

Solution #22:

If you have more than one key you may need to do
ssh-add private-keyfile

Respondent: keios

Solution #23:

The easiest solution to this, when you are trying to push to a repository with a different username is:

 git remote set-url origin https://[email protected]/USERNAME/PROJECTNAME.git
Respondent: Nizar B.

Solution #24:

I have just experienced this issue while setting my current project, and none of the above solution works. so i tried looking what’s really happening on the debug list using the command ssh -vT [email protected] I notice that my private key filename is not on the list. so renaming the private key filename to ‘id_rsa’ do the job. hope this could help.

Respondent: Rhey M.

Solution #25:

It worked for me.

Your public key is saved to the id_rsa.pub;file and is the key you upload to your account. You can save this key to the clipboard by running this:

pbcopy < ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub

  • copy the SSH key to the clipboard, return to the web portal.
  • In the SSH Key field, paste your SSH key.
  • In the Name field, provide a name for the key.
  • save .
Respondent: Harshikesh Kumar

Solution #26:

Its pretty straight forward. Type the below command

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "[email protected]"

Generate the SSH key. Open the file and copy the contents. Go to GitHub setting page , and click on SSH key . Click on Add new SSH key, and paste the contents here. That’s it 🙂 You shouldn’t see the issue again.

Respondent: karthik339

Solution #27:

In my MAC I solved this with:

cp ~/.ssh/github_rsa ~/.ssh/id_rsa

For some reason my git stopped to find the private key in the github_rsa file. This happened in a specific repo. I mean that in other repositories git kept working normally.

I think it’s a bug.

I could find this behavior running ssh -vT [email protected]

Respondent: CelinHC

Solution #28:

In MAC, go to Terminal

1) Navigate to Home Directory using command – cd ~

2) cd .ssh && ssh-keygen (For Defaults, click on Enter/Return key for both inputs)

Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/Users/username/.ssh/id_rsa):      
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): 
Enter same passphrase again: 
Your identification has been saved in /Users/usernmae/.ssh/id_rsa.

3) After that , Do “ls“. you will find id_rsa.pub file.

4) Copy the contents in the id_rsa.pub file (read using the cat command – cat id_rsa.pub)

5) Navigate to BitBucket or any version tool which supports the SSH keys. Paste the contents using the Add Key Option

That’s it. Try to commit and push now.

enter image description here

Solution #29:

I helped the following:

  1. Open Terminal (Git Bash)
  2. Remove all files in directory .ssh or rename and create new .ssh folder.
  3. To follow in the steps of the instructions:
    1. Generating a new SSH key
    2. Adding your SSH key to the ssh-agent

System: Windows 10.

Respondent: TiiGRUS

Solution #30:

I was getting a similar Permission denied (publickey) error when trying to run a makefile.

As an alternative to the SSH steps above, you can Install the native GitHub for Mac application.

Click Download GitHub for Mac from – https://help.github.com/articles/set-up-git#platform-mac

Once you complete setup with your git hub account (I also installed the git hub command line tools but unsure if this step is required or not) then I received an email –

[GitHub] A new public key was added to your account

and my error was fixed.

Respondent: WickedW

The answers/resolutions are collected from stackoverflow, are licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0 .

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