RSA key authentication is refused in Fedora 33 and other newer Linux distributions


When connecting to Fedora 33 with an RSA key, the following message appears and the connection is denied.

Connecting to
Connection established.
To escape to local shell, press Ctrl+Alt+].
[14:47:16] Version exchange initiated...
[14:47:16] server: SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_8.4
[14:47:16] client: SSH-2.0-nsssh2_7.0.0006 NetSarang Computer, Inc.
[14:47:16] SSH2 is selected.
[14:47:16] Outgoing packet: 20 (0x14: SSH2_MSG_KEXINIT)
[14:47:16] Incoming packet: 20 (0x14: SSH2_MSG_KEXINIT)
[14:47:16] Algorithm negotiation initiated... (Dialog mode)
[14:47:16] key exchange:
[14:47:16] host key: rsa-sha2-256
[14:47:16] outgoing encryption:
[14:47:16] incoming encryption:
[14:47:16] outgoing mac:
[14:47:16] incoming mac:
[14:47:16] outgoing compression: none
[14:47:16] incoming compression: none
[14:47:16] Outgoing packet: 30 (0x1e: SSH2_MSG_KEXDH_INIT)
[14:47:16] Incoming packet: 31 (0x1f: SSH2_MSG_KEXDH_REPLY)
[14:47:16] Host authentication initiated...
[14:47:16] Hostkey fingerprint:
[14:47:16] rsa 3072 8a:c3:90:89:16:7a:43:ad:db:ca:d5:7d:91:c0:7e:c1
[14:47:16] Accepted. Verifying host key...
[14:47:16] Verified.
[14:47:16] Outgoing packet: 21 (0x15: SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS)
[14:47:16] Incoming packet: 21 (0x15: SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS)
[14:47:16] Outgoing packet: 5 (0x05: SSH2_MSG_SERVICE_REQUEST)
[14:47:16] Incoming packet: 6 (0x06: SSH2_MSG_SERVICE_ACCEPT)
[14:47:16] User authentication initiated... (Dialog mode)
[14:47:17] Sent user name 'testuser'.
[14:47:17] Outgoing packet: 50 (0x32: SSH2_MSG_USERAUTH_REQUEST)
[14:47:17] Incoming packet: 51 (0x33: SSH2_MSG_USERAUTH_FAILURE)
[14:47:23] Outgoing packet: 50 (0x32: SSH2_MSG_USERAUTH_REQUEST)
[14:47:23] Sent public key blob, type:ssh-rsa.
[14:47:23] Incoming packet: 51 (0x33: SSH2_MSG_USERAUTH_FAILURE)
[14:47:23] Server rejected the public blob.


This issue occurred because the SSH server does not accept the Xshell supported ssh-rsa key format(SHA1).

When OpenSSH 8.2 was released, OpenSSH stated that the ssh-rsa key format would be excluded from the default list in the near future.

Fedora 33, released in October 2020, includes OpenSSH 8.4 by default, and the ssh-rsa format is omitted from the default list in its OpenSSH server as expected.


You can choose one of the followings:

  • Use the ED2519 or ECDSA format key in Xshell.

  • Change the crypto-policy on Fedora 33 and restart the SSH server.

    # update-crypto-policies --show; update-crypto-policies --set LEGACY; systemctl restart sshd
  • Add the ssh-rsa format to the SSH server configuration file. (Note: This is not recommended for security reasons.)
    Add 'PubkeyAcceptedKeyTypes +ssh-rsa' before the 'Include'

    # vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config
    PubkeyAcceptedKeyTypes +ssh-rsa
    # To modify the system-wide sshd configuration, create a *.conf file under
    # /etc/ssh/sshd_config.d/ which will be automatically included below
    Include /etc/ssh/sshd_config.d/*.conf
    # systemctl restart sshd