Problem using ssh locally - slow to respond

Asked by Jim Hutchinson

I have a desktop set up with openssh-server. I would like to be able to log in to the desktop and move files to and from my laptop. Both run ubuntu 7.04.

I have had this working in the past. I could use ssh <email address hidden> or I could use the option to "connect to server" under the places menu. Usually, it worked once. It would say something about the host being unknown and did I really want to connect. I'd say yes and it would work. When I would try again a few days later it would return an error about being unable to connect. If i opened the .ssh folder and deleted the "known hosts" file it would again work - once.

Now it is not working so well. I can still connect but it now takes 15 seconds or so before I am prompted for a password. It used to be nearly instantaneous. I tried this ( but it didn't help.

Right now I can only connect with ssh in a terminal and there is the long pause before being asked for a password. If I use the "connect to server" option under Places and set up a link it will return an error saying "could not open location 'ssh:user@'". This is the method I'd prefer to use because it allows me to use nautilus to copy and move files.

A solution for me would be to have both ssh in a terminal and with nautilus work every time and quickly and without the need to delete the "known_hosts" file each time.


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Solved by:
Joey Stanford
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Best Joey Stanford (joey) said :

Try adding the following line to ~/.ssh/config:

   GSSAPIAuthentication no

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Jim Hutchinson (jphutch) said :

Thanks Joey. I created the file and added the line but nothing really changed. Was I supposed to add that to the server or the client computer? Or both?

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Jim Hutchinson (jphutch) said :

Okay, wait. I went ahead and added that line to the client computer and rebooted (old windows habit, I know) and it seems to be working. I also restarted ssh on the server. I think that fixed it. Does turning off GSSAPIAuthentication open any security risks? If I open port 22 for external ssh (like from work to home) will that leave me wide open?

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Jim Hutchinson (jphutch) said :

Thanks Joey Stanford, that solved my question.

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Joey Stanford (joey) said :

The man page ssh_config says GSSAPIAuthentication is no by default but in Debian and derives it's ON by default (Debian Bug #409360). Given the default settings I doubt this would cause any security issues.

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Jim Hutchinson (jphutch) said :

Okay. Thanks.

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Neal McBurnett (nealmcb) said :

GSSAPIAuthentication allows you to use kerberos to authenticate, which you're probably not doing. It won't decrease your security to turn it off, though in the proper environment, like a big organization, kerberos would be a better way to authenticate.

Nevertheless, I'm troubled by the need to disable this feature. DIgging further, there are some bugs on this, e.g.
which says:

 I had a similar problem, and setting GSSAPIAuthentication to no did NOT help.
 I disabled mDNS from the nsswitch.conf file on the client and now the problem is solved:
 In /etc/nsswitch.conf, I replaced :

 hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4


 hosts: files dns

see also