protocol error: mtime.sec not present

Scenario: scp using ssh keys to a machine on my network, but received the error –

protocol error: mtime.sec not present

On creating the user on the remote machine I used nologin, instead of a shell. Simply changing the user via vipw to a shell fixed the issue.

2 thoughts on “protocol error: mtime.sec not present”

    1. Hi – I went into the password table via vipw, then changed the last part of the line, at the end of the : delimiter –

      from – /sbin/nologin
      to – /bin/sh

      But you will first need to make sure sh is in /bin, which it likely is, but just to check, you can do –

      whereis sh

      and it should tell you the location of sh.


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