Resolving SSH’s “Too Many Authentication Attempts”

Not long ago, I was trying to login to a new server and I was continually met with the error:

ssh X.X.X.X
Received disconnect from X.X.X.X: 2: Too many authentication failures for [username]

After ensuring that I wasn’t the issue and that the server wasn’t to blame, I asked my friend Google what could be happening.

This is what was happening. When you give the command ssh x.x.x.x, SSH tries to authenticate with that server using each one of your private keys before even presenting you with the option for interactive password authentication. This is the default behaviour – and I’m OK with that now that I know, but it is a bit quirky.

For this particular server, I did not have a key – I needed to use a password to authenticate. To stop the SSH client from attempting key based authentication, you can do one of two things:

  1. Pass a flag at connection time – -o PubkeyAuthentication=no.
  2. In your SSH config add the PreferredAuthentications password option for that host.

Also – if you ever run into issues with SSH, run it with -v (or -vv) and see what SSH is really doing behind the scenes.

Fixing Cmd-T

Have you ever hit ⌘T and had the worthless “Fonts” dialog popup instead of what you intended to happen? To me “T” means “Tab” or “tags” depending on the application.

World's most unwanted dialog.

One example where I wanted “tags” instead of looking at the above dialog, is Evernote. So finally being fed up with the expected result of what ⌘T should do and what it was doing by default, I edited the keyboard shortcut.

This tip works across all OSX applications and it can really help out when an application doesn’t allow a shortcut to be defined.

Go into “Preferences” then “Keyboard”. At the top, click “Shortcuts”. On the left side, click “App Shortcuts”. Then click the “+” at the bottom of the right pane and add something that looks like this:

Keyboard shortcut for Evernote

One caveat here is that you must match the menu command exactly as it appears in the application. If it is a subcommand, you just enter the menu item (i.e. no prefixes are needed if it’s in “Edit > Styles”).

Yasiin Gaye: The Departure

I found this album through a co-worker a few weeks ago. It’s really quite good. The “Soul Mates Project” has a few other albums that are worth checking out if you like this as well.

If you’re curious what this is about, here’s a description from that site.

Amerigo Gazaway’s *Soul Mates* series continues the theme of his previous work in creating collaborations that never were. On the series’ latest installment, Amerigo unites Brooklyn rapper Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) and soul legend Marvin Gaye for a dream collaboration aptly titled “Yasiin Gaye”. Building the album’s foundation from deconstructed samples of Gaye’s Motown classics, Gazaway re-purposes the instrumentation into new productions within a similar framework. Carefully weaving Bey’s tangled raps and Gaye’s soulful vocals over his new arrangements, the producer delivers a quality much closer to an authentic collaboration than a lukewarm “mashup” album.

Project filters in OmniFocus


It’s a rare occasion when I change my project filter to something other than “Remaining.” Earlier this week, I had such a rare occasion. I guess I have never noticed the other filters beyond “Remaining” and “Active.”

Project filters in OmniFocus

After toggling between “Stalled” and “Pending” a few times and not seeing any projects appear, I got curious as to what those filters do. The answer was in the manual but I didn’t find it as obvious as I would have thought it’d be.

The criteria each selection filters on are:

  • Active – not on hold, completed or with future start date
  • Remaining – not completed or not dropped
  • Stalled – without any available actions
  • Pending – all with future start dates
  • On hold – status of “on hold”
  • Completed – status of completed

From the OmniFocus manual:

You’ll probably want this to be Active most of the time, so you can see only the projects you’re working on now. You can also choose Remaining (projects that haven’t been completed or dropped), Stalled (projects without any available actions), Pending (projects with start dates in the future), On Hold, Dropped, Completed (projects you have marked with these statuses), or All.