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Old 16th May 2013
flit flit is offline
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Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 8
Default Slow SSH login

Hi all,

I have OpenBSD 5.1 installed in VMware and when I try to
login into OpenBSD via SSH from a Windows 7 machine, it is
taking almost 2 minutes before the password is prompted.

The error message that I am receiving is:
Server refused keyboard-interactive authentication

Can anyone help me fix this issue?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 16th May 2013
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jggimi jggimi is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 6,446

Hello, and welcome!

Slow initial login via SSH is a very common issue, so common it is described in the OpenBSD FAQ, section 8.22: Reverse DNS, or Why is it taking so long for me to log in?

While there is no guarantee that your DNS configuration is the problem... it is a 99%+ probability.

See if the /etc/hosts recommendation in the FAQ resolves the problem for you.
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Old 16th May 2013
J65nko J65nko is offline
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Location: Budel - the Netherlands
Posts: 3,508

The delay of 2 minutes is caused because the OpenBSD SSH does a double reverse name lookup of the IP address that is connecting to it. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-reverse_DNS

There are several ways of fixing this:
  • The easy lazy insecure coward method:

    Disable this lookup by changing #UseDNS yes into UseDNS no In /etc/ssh/sshd_config
  • Make the double reverse DNS lookup work by:

    1. Configuring a local DNS server, which is not that trivial if you never have done it before
    2. Add a an entry to the OpenBSD /etc/hosts like this:

      Code:  hercules.utp.xnet hercules
      See hosts(5) for a description of that file.
You don't need to be a genius to debug a pf.conf firewall ruleset, you just need the guts to run tcpdump
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Old 16th May 2013
flit flit is offline
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Posts: 8

Thanks for the replies. It was a DNS issue. I added some lines to /etc/hosts and the issue has been resolved.

Last edited by flit; 16th May 2013 at 08:39 PM.
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