SSH Authentication Refused: Bad Ownership or Modes for Directory

Tailing /var/log/secure on the target machine is a lot more useful :



Finally we’re getting somewhere – bad ownership or modes for directory /home/dave/.ssh.

SSH doesn’t like it if your home or ~/.ssh directories have group write permissions. Your home directory should be writable only by you, ~/.ssh should be 700, and authorized_keys should be 600 :



You can also get around this by adding StrictModes off to your ssh_config file, but I’d advise against it – fixing permissions is the way to go.