I know this has been asked several times, but I went through a lot of trying to connect from my PC to my Raspberry Pi via SSH and I don't get it to work.

My Setup:

  • Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
  • Working RetroPie 4.4 installation
  • Windows-PC with Putty

What I want to do:

  • Connect with Putty to my raspberry Pi over SSH
  • Preferrably over wlan, but I tried both cabled and wlan

What I tried/did:

  • Tried to connect with Putty (wlan) --> I got a connection refused error
  • Enabled SSH with the raspi-config tool
  • Tried to connect with Putty again -->
  • putty error messages
  • Tried to ping the wlan-ip: success
  • Tried to open a telnet session on port 22: success
  • Tried tcpping on port 22: success
  • Despite that: still the same error.
  • Connected PC over a simple switch to the pi.
  • Tried all of the above with the eth0 ip with same result as wlan.

I think I can be fairly sure that the SSH server is listening (ps -ef says so, too) and a connection could be established. I do not think it is a problem of putty as i see tons of people using it with their raspberrys. I do not think it is a wlan related problem as I get the same results on the wired connection.

Could anyone point me in a direction where the error might be located?

Thank a lot.

  • Look at the server logs. It seems the connection is accepted and later terminated. The logs should state why that happens.
    – RalfFriedl
    Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 12:37
  • Thanks @RalfFriedl ! I checked the logs and found a solution. See my answer post.
    – Maoristirn
    Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


So I checked the server logs and found the following error multiple times:

Aug 19 11:52:44 retropie sshd[9707]: error: key_load_public: invalid format
Aug 19 11:52:44 retropie sshd[9707]: error: Could not load host key: /etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key

I deleted the keys and reconfigured them:

sudo rm /etc/ssh/ssh_host*
sudo dpkg-reconfigure openssh-server

After a restart, the connection worked like a charm.

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