Check SSH keys at time of running launchpad login and provide informative error messages if something is wrong

Bug #332019 reported by Keith Hughitt on 2009-02-20
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone

Bug Description

When attempting to grab a branch on a new machine, I first used the launchpad-login command to specify my username, which appeared to work fine. Next, I tried to fetch a branch, but was greeted with the following error message:

$ bzr branch lp:myproject
Permission denied (publickey).
bzr: ERROR: Connection closed: please check connectivity and permissions (and try -Dhpss if further diagnosis is required)

It says publickey sort of in passing, but what I paid most attention to was the suggestions in the error message: "check connectivity and permissions..."

So in order to try and get more details I tried running the command with the suggested arguments:

$ bzr branch lp:myproj -Dhpss
Permission denied (publickey).
bzr: ERROR: exceptions.AttributeError: 'ProtocolThreeDecoder' object has no attribute '_in_buffer'

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/", line 857, in run_bzr_catch_errors
    return run_bzr(argv)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/", line 797, in run_bzr
    ret = run(*run_argv)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/", line 499, in run_argv_aliases
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/", line 840, in run
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/", line 878, in open_tree_or_branch
    bzrdir =
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/", line 756, in open
    return BzrDir.open_from_transport(t, _unsupported=_unsupported)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/", line 798, in open_from_transport
    return, _found=True)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/", line 1725, in open
    return self._open(transport)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/", line 2605, in _open
    return remote.RemoteBzrDir(transport)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/", line 76, in __init__
    response ='', path)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/smart/", line 111, in call
    result, protocol = self.call_expecting_body(method, *args)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/smart/", line 124, in call_expecting_body
    method, args, expect_response_body=True)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/smart/", line 72, in _call_and_read_response
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/smart/", line 258, in read_response_tuple
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/smart/", line 224, in _wait_for_response_args
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/smart/", line 243, in _read_more
AttributeError: 'ProtocolThreeDecoder' object has no attribute '_in_buffer'

bzr 1.6.1 on python 2.5.2 (linux2)
arguments: ['/usr/bin/bzr', 'branch', 'lp:myproj', '-Dhpss']
encoding: 'UTF-8', fsenc: 'UTF-8', lang: 'en_US.UTF-8'
  avahi /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/plugins/avahi [0.3.0dev0]
  bzrtools /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/plugins/bzrtools [1.6.0]
  dbus /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/plugins/dbus [unknown]
  gtk /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/plugins/gtk [0.95.0]
  launchpad /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/bzrlib/plugins/launchpad [unknown]
*** Bazaar has encountered an internal error.
    Please report a bug at
    including this traceback, and a description of what you
    were doing when the error occurred.


Again, not very helpful (to me).

After searching around the web some I found someone with a similar error message ( and they were told to check their SSH keys. Sure enough, I had forgotten to add my public key for the new machine. Add the public key fixed the problem right away.

So my request is:

Would it be possible to

1) Check the ssh key at the time the user uses the command "launchpad-login" and display a simple message "e.g. You have not yet added a public ssh key for this machine. etc," and

 2) Provide a more informative message when the user tries to do some other action?

Both of these would be very helpful :)

Andrew Bennetts (spiv) wrote :

I think there may be a bug already for 1. It may even already be fixed in a newer release of bzr?

Part 2 is a bug that has definitely been fixed in subsequent releases of bzr.

anatoly techtonik (techtonik) wrote :

1. Is not fixed for sure. launchpad-login doesn't check for validity of ssh key. It only checks that the user name exists. And when it comes to checkout it fails with similarly confusing message:

> bzr checkout lp:update-manager
Connected (version 2.0, client Twisted)
SSH <email address hidden> password:
Authentication type (password) not permitted.
bzr: ERROR: Connection error: Unable to authenticate to SSH host as <email address hidden> Bad authentication type (allowed_types=['publickey'])

The most confusing part is that is asks for a password even knowing that policy requires public key, even when there is no any public keys (with or without password) around.

Martin Pool (mbp) wrote :

It seems like the problem is not so much that launchpad-login should check your keys (though maybe it should) but that we should give a better message if no keys were acceptable to the server? This is a problem that could occur later on after you've run launchpad-login.

I filed bug 375867 for the separate misbehaviour of prompting for a password even when it won't help.

summary: - Check SSH keys at time of running launch-pad login and provide
+ Check SSH keys at time of running launchpad login and provide
informative error messages if something is wrong
Changed in bzr:
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Confirmed
Jonathan Lange (jml) on 2010-03-11
tags: added: lp-login
removed: launchpad-login
Jelmer Vernooij (jelmer) on 2017-11-09
tags: added: check-for-breezy
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