Gian and Raz, thank you for your suggestions.

Gian, I'm able to logon with PreferredAuthentications=3Dpassword. =
after I send my public key, I still can't make a connection:

[root@xxx2 ~]# cat ~/.ssh/ | ssh -o
PreferredAuthentications=3Dpassword 'umask 022; cat
>>~/.ssh/authorized_keys' password:=20
[root@xxx2 ~]# ssh
Connection closed by
[root@xxx2 ~]#

Raz, I think you're on to something, suspecting that there's a problem.
I get this message in /var/log/auth.log when the connection fails:

Mar 21 11:42:20 main sshd[16735]: fatal: buffer_get: trying to get more
bytes 129 than in buffer 36

After searching on Google, I found this solution involving improper line
endings in ~/.ssh/authorized_keys: Their
solution was to erase the key in question, which I had done previously.
However, I noticed that the key preceding the one in question seemed to
be malformed. It was much longer than the other ssh-rsa keys, and
contained spaces, which the other ones did not. Removing this key solved
the problem. I can now log on using either password or public key.

Thank you all very much for your help and suggestions.

-Kevin Zembower

----Original Message-----
From: Roland Turner (Security Focus)
Sent: Monday, March 20, 2006 11:15 AM
Subject: Re: Why am I sending the publickey?

On Mon, 2006-03-20 at 10:12 -0500, Zembower, Kevin wrote:

> debug1: Authentications that can continue:
> publickey,password,keyboard-interactive
> debug1: Next authentication method: publickey
> debug1: Trying private key: /root/.ssh/identity
> debug1: Offering public key: /root/.ssh/id_rsa
> Connection closed by xx.xx.xx.xx
> [root@xxx .ssh]#
> I don't understand why it's trying the publickey method.
> On the remote host, I've removed the lines in /root/.ssh/authorized

> for the host I'm coming from, and restarted sshd,

Your client is offering a key because your server is indicating a
willingness to accept one (this is controlled by sshd_config, not

There's some brokenness here though; it's not clear why the connection
is closing immediately after the public key is offered. It should refuse
it, then move on to the other authorisation methods. A sudden closure
suggests that your server process is aborting (e.g. a segmentation
violation). How confident are you that your server build is reasonable?

- Raz