SSH: Agent Admitted Failure To Sign Using The Key Error And Solution

Posted on in Categories , , last updated October 20, 2013

I‘ve recently regenrated and uploaded a new public ssh-key using the ssh-copy-id command. Now I’m getting the following error:

ssh [email protected]
Agent admitted failure to sign using the key.
[email protected]’s password:

How do I fix this problem?

To fix this problem you need logout of your Unix / Linux / OS X / BSD desktop session and log back in again to force the agent to forget identity. Another recommend option is to run the ssh-add command to add RSA or DSA identities to the authentication agent. This will fix your problem without login out from the current session. The syntax is as follows:

$ ssh-add

Pro tip: If your key located in different path or does not have the default filename, you will need to pass the path to ssh-add command as follows:

$ ssh-add /path/to/my/ssh_key
$ ssh-add ~/.ssh/server3_key

See ssh-add(1) command man page for more information.

37 comment

  1. Came across this answer after trying a million things. I can’t believe it was that simple. Thank you!!!

  2. Yup: this approach worked for me. Got this error during trial 11.2.0.3 Grid Infrastructure installation over pair of Oracle Linux 6.2 VMs in virtualbox on laptop. Cheers Vivek. No reference to this in E22489-06. Maybe Oracle should pay *you* a license…

  3. Actually i tryed ssh-add command in ubuntu 10.04 when i want to logged in to remote linux system without password ,there is an error message came ”Agent admitted failure to sign using the key” and it asked for password then i try ssh-add command and it works fine.

    Above error came after creating keys.

  4. Hi Guys, I am working on Linux 6.5 under VM Machine and on my Oracle Install, I got suck with it, with ssh connectivity, and I tried it on terminal with the ssh-add command and it worked as charm, but later on Install it again failed and I tried on terminal it again started asking me to put the password, Any idea what else is stopping the Agent again and getting the under mentioned Message and who to move on it.
    “” Agent admitted failure to sign using the key””

  5. Thanks for the solution. But here’s a better one, better than restarting the desktop:

    forget about keys:

    ssh-add -D

    and then optionally add your key again:

    ssh-add

  6. This does not work for me. After doing ‘ssh-add’, I now get the “Agent admitted failure to sign using the key.” message twice. I didn’t use to get this message at all, but now lately it has started happening. What am I doing wrong?

  7. lol this worked for me too with openshift. wow. I even closed my terminal window, reopened, and restarted zshell by typing `zsh`.

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