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Mikrotik passwordless SSH with public key

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

Following the instructions described in the official documentation:


The process is as always as easy as:

# upload the id_rsa.pub file
# then import the public key file for the user used for connecting via SSH
user ssh-keys import public-key-file=id_rsa.pub user=admin-ssh
# and it's done.

Everything was OK with my WSL Ubuntu 20.04. (I added WSL at the beginning of the versions because it runs in Windows Subsystem Linux).

But, with the newest WSL Ubuntu 22.04 I was unsuccessful.

Being precise, the SSH versions are:

# WSL Ubuntu 20.04
$ ssh -V
OpenSSH_8.2p1 Ubuntu-4ubuntu0.5, OpenSSL 1.1.1f  31 Mar 2020

# WSL Ubuntu 22.04
$ ssh -V
OpenSSH_8.9p1 Ubuntu-3, OpenSSL 3.0.2 15 Mar 2022

After connecting with verbose details, I found this message, that was the key for solving the problem:

debug1: Offering public key: /home/my_user/.ssh/id_rsa RSA SHA256:2******************************Y agent
debug1: send_pubkey_test: no mutual signature algorithm

Then, I discovered that newest SSH versions aren’t compatible with Mikrotik SSH version. It seems that version isn’t enough newest and are incompatible with how public keys are negotiated at the beginning of the connection.

Finally, the solution was to use an extra parameter for establishing the connection:

ssh -o 'PubkeyAcceptedAlgorithms +ssh-rsa' THE_USER@THE_HOST

Of course, an alternative is using ~/.ssh/config file or the system file: /etc/ssh/ssh_config and add this parameter for everything, or specific hosts. For instance, like this:

  user THE_USER
  PubkeyAcceptedAlgorithms +ssh-rsa

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