It seems that they are mutually exclusive, as disabling one gives me the other, and vice versa. Two-factor auth for my SSH servers sounds really nice, so is there any way to accomplish this?
With recent Fedora and RHEL 6 releases, you can use
RequiredAuthentications2 pubkey,password to require both pubkey and password authentication. Usually this is done to require pubkey and 2-factor authentication token, not the user's password.
Update: Now on RHEL / CentOS 7, and any system with a recent version of OpenSSH, you can use:
AuthenticationMethods "publickey,password" "publickey,keyboard-interactive"
It's also possible to use the Match directive to exclude IPs or Users.
You can have both public-key and password authentication on the same server. If public-key authentication fails, it will go to password authentication.
As to requiring both, that's seems silly and counterproductive, and checking
man sshd_config there isn't an option to do this.
Your ssh private key should have a secure passphrase. So if an attacker obtains your private key, they still can't do anything without first obtaining your passphrase. If they've compromised that passphrase (most likely with a keylogger; or from brute forcing an extremely weak passphrase) they can trivially also grab/brute force any memorized password.
If you really want, you could possibly setup something with say ForceCommand (e.g., only allow public-key authentication and then direct user to a shell that prompts for a password). I don't recommend this.
A better alternative if you want to limit exposure, is to have a firewall setup to limit IPs that can reach the ssh port; possibly with an additional VPN running on a server somewhere if you may need to tunnel from another computer at some point. You could also use something like knockd to open a hole in a firewall after a particular port-knocking pattern, though recognize that anyone eavesdropping on traffic could replay the knocking pattern to open up a port.
(cross posting SO answer with updated solution to these days)
If you read through the manual page for
sshd_config(5), there is option
AuthenticationMethods, which takes the list of methods you need to pass before you are granted access. Your required setup is:
This method should work all the current Linux systems with recent openssh (openssh-6, openssh-7).
The only exception I know about is RHEL 6 (openssh-5.3), which requires setting different option with same values (as described in the other answer):
I looked into this a little more and came up with the following.
You could use PAM for two factor authenticaion, but in doing so you won't be using SSH keys you will be using a different two factors.
For example, You could use google with their two factor authentication and use pam to authenticate, as described at
The only solution that worked for me is to have what follows in the /etc/ssh/sshd_config (tested with a CentOS7):
AuthenticationMethods publickey password
Which means to have PAM enabled, to have enabled every line that concerns the publik key and, finally, to have AuthenticationMethods properly listing both methods. Please note that, despite what was written by Jakuje, you should not add a comma between publickey and password after AuthenticationMethods.
Yes. Access as a sudo user to Ubuntu first.
sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config
Modify the file
Save Modified Buffer? Press Y and then Enter Restart SSH
Do not exit without testing, using the standalone separate console.
Tested on Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS