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SSH Authentication Failed (SourceTree Windows) - Should I set SSH agent to PuTTY?

UTAN dev November 1, 2017

When fetching from a remote, I'm getting the "SSH Authentication Failed" window. ("The OpenSSH agent is running but the server still rejected your connection. […]")

  • I had created a new, 2048-bit key using PuttyGen and added the public key to the server.
  • I can confirm that it works in the Git terminal. The following logs me in without manual intervention:
eval $(ssh-agent)

ssh-add C:\\Users\\MYUSER\\.ssh\\dell-no-passphrase-openssh-2048-bits

  • SourceTree is using OpenSSH and System Git. (System Git 2.15.0/LibGit2Sharp 0.24.0 + git-lfs v2.3.4)
  • I did try Tools > Launch SSH Agent.
  • The SourceTree SSH Key option field contains:
C:\Users\MYUSER\.ssh\id_rsa;C:\Users\MYUSER\.ssh\dell-no-passphrase-openssh-2048-bits;D:\MYUSER\Documents\MYUSER-DELL (OpenSSH).ppk

I do see the difference in backslashes between SourceTree's setting and the terminal's add-ssh, but wouldn't one assume that SourceTree would deal with any issues when passing key filenames to its SSH agent? What's wrong here?

Or should I just tell SourceTree to use PuTTY? (I have Pageant running 24/7.) If so, why do other instructions recommend using OpenSSH instead of PuTTY?

Thanks for your help.

2 answers

1 accepted

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Answer accepted
Ana Retamal
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
November 6, 2017

Hi! Seems like there's a bug around that. There were a couple threads in Community where users proposed their solutions, you can find them at:

Let us know if that helps you! 

Best regards,


1 vote
edhubbell August 24, 2023

I also get this error when attempting to commit an Excel file to a repo while the file is open in Excel. It's repeatable. No clue why this is the error that comes up, but closed the workbook and the error went away.

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