Dropbear refusing my public key after reinstalling extroot

Hi all and Happy Easter! Hope the Easter :rabbit: brought you all lots of choccy :egg:s this morning (or will when he gets to you in your timezone LOL)!

After following the process outlined in this thread, I have finally managed to add a swap partition to my TP-Link Archer C7, and recreate my extroot config as it was before. Almost everything seems to be the same; nano and samba4 are installed and working nicely, and my default terminal for root is back to being bash instead of ash. Yippee! :partying_face:

The only problem is that SSH public key authentication no longer works. I can log in with the root password if I enable the two relevant options under LuCI -> System -> Administration -> SSH Access, but trying to use the same public key as before fails, even after deleting it and re-adding it to LuCI -> System -> Administration -> SSH Keys. I also tried dropping and recreating the Dropbear instance, but to no avail. Boo! :frowning_face:

Here's the output that I get from ssh -vvv root@ip on my Windows machine:

OpenSSH_for_Windows_7.7p1, LibreSSL 2.6.5
debug1: Reading configuration data C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/config
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/ProgramData/ssh/ssh_config error:2
debug2: resolve_canonicalize: hostname 192.168.1.1 is address
debug2: ssh_connect_direct: needpriv 0
debug1: Connecting to 192.168.1.1 [192.168.1.1] port 22.
debug1: Connection established.
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_rsa type 0
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_rsa-cert error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_rsa-cert.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_rsa-cert type -1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa type -1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa-cert error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa-cert.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa-cert type -1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa type -1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa-cert error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa-cert.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa-cert type -1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519 error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519 type -1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519-cert error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519-cert.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519-cert type -1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss type -1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss-cert error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss-cert.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss-cert type -1
debug1: Local version string SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_for_Windows_7.7
debug1: Remote protocol version 2.0, remote software version dropbear
debug1: no match: dropbear
debug2: fd 3 setting O_NONBLOCK
debug1: Authenticating to 192.168.1.1:22 as 'root'
debug3: hostkeys_foreach: reading file "C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/known_hosts"
debug3: record_hostkey: found key type RSA in file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/known_hosts:11
debug3: load_hostkeys: loaded 1 keys from 192.168.1.1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/known_hosts2 error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/ProgramData/ssh/ssh_known_hosts error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/ProgramData/ssh/ssh_known_hosts2 error:2
debug3: order_hostkeyalgs: prefer hostkeyalgs: ssh-rsa-cert-v01@openssh.com,rsa-sha2-512,rsa-sha2-256,ssh-rsa
debug3: send packet: type 20
debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEXINIT sent
debug3: receive packet: type 20
debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEXINIT received
debug2: local client KEXINIT proposal
debug2: KEX algorithms: curve25519-sha256,curve25519-sha256@libssh.org,ecdh-sha2-nistp256,ecdh-sha2-nistp384,ecdh-sha2-nistp521,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha256,diffie-hellman-group16-sha512,diffie-hellman-group18-sha512,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha1,diffie-hellman-group14-sha256,diffie-hellman-group14-sha1,ext-info-c
debug2: host key algorithms: ssh-rsa-cert-v01@openssh.com,rsa-sha2-512,rsa-sha2-256,ssh-rsa,ecdsa-sha2-nistp256-cert-v01@openssh.com,ecdsa-sha2-nistp384-cert-v01@openssh.com,ecdsa-sha2-nistp521-cert-v01@openssh.com,ssh-ed25519-cert-v01@openssh.com,ecdsa-sha2-nistp256,ecdsa-sha2-nistp384,ecdsa-sha2-nistp521,ssh-ed25519
debug2: ciphers ctos: chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com,aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr,aes128-gcm@openssh.com,aes256-gcm@openssh.com
debug2: ciphers stoc: chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com,aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr,aes128-gcm@openssh.com,aes256-gcm@openssh.com
debug2: MACs ctos: umac-64-etm@openssh.com,umac-128-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-512-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-etm@openssh.com,umac-64@openssh.com,umac-128@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256,hmac-sha2-512,hmac-sha1
debug2: MACs stoc: umac-64-etm@openssh.com,umac-128-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-512-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-etm@openssh.com,umac-64@openssh.com,umac-128@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256,hmac-sha2-512,hmac-sha1
debug2: compression ctos: none
debug2: compression stoc: none
debug2: languages ctos:
debug2: languages stoc:
debug2: first_kex_follows 0
debug2: reserved 0
debug2: peer server KEXINIT proposal
debug2: KEX algorithms: curve25519-sha256,curve25519-sha256@libssh.org,diffie-hellman-group14-sha256,diffie-hellman-group14-sha1,kexguess2@matt.ucc.asn.au
debug2: host key algorithms: ssh-rsa
debug2: ciphers ctos: aes128-ctr,aes256-ctr
debug2: ciphers stoc: aes128-ctr,aes256-ctr
debug2: MACs ctos: hmac-sha1,hmac-sha2-256
debug2: MACs stoc: hmac-sha1,hmac-sha2-256
debug2: compression ctos: none
debug2: compression stoc: none
debug2: languages ctos:
debug2: languages stoc:
debug2: first_kex_follows 0
debug2: reserved 0
debug1: kex: algorithm: curve25519-sha256
debug1: kex: host key algorithm: ssh-rsa
debug1: kex: server->client cipher: aes128-ctr MAC: hmac-sha2-256 compression: none
debug1: kex: client->server cipher: aes128-ctr MAC: hmac-sha2-256 compression: none
debug3: send packet: type 30
debug1: expecting SSH2_MSG_KEX_ECDH_REPLY
debug3: receive packet: type 31
debug1: Server host key: ssh-rsa SHA256:/jDzOu6TDV/tZzb1b+jJK4wsMT098A//wiCXjQn7OW0
debug3: hostkeys_foreach: reading file "C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/known_hosts"
debug3: record_hostkey: found key type RSA in file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/known_hosts:11
debug3: load_hostkeys: loaded 1 keys from 192.168.1.1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/known_hosts2 error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/ProgramData/ssh/ssh_known_hosts error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/ProgramData/ssh/ssh_known_hosts2 error:2
debug1: Host '192.168.1.1' is known and matches the RSA host key.
debug1: Found key in C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/known_hosts:11
debug3: send packet: type 21
debug2: set_newkeys: mode 1
debug1: rekey after 4294967296 blocks
debug1: SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS sent
debug1: expecting SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS
debug3: receive packet: type 21
debug1: SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS received
debug2: set_newkeys: mode 0
debug1: rekey after 4294967296 blocks
debug3: unable to connect to pipe \\\\.\\pipe\\openssh-ssh-agent, error: 2
debug1: pubkey_prepare: ssh_get_authentication_socket: No such file or directory
debug2: key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_rsa (000001A867AF1C20)
debug2: key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa (0000000000000000)
debug2: key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa (0000000000000000)
debug2: key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519 (0000000000000000)
debug2: key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss (0000000000000000)
debug3: send packet: type 5
debug3: receive packet: type 6
debug2: service_accept: ssh-userauth
debug1: SSH2_MSG_SERVICE_ACCEPT received
debug3: send packet: type 50
debug3: receive packet: type 51
debug1: Authentications that can continue: publickey,password
debug3: start over, passed a different list publickey,password
debug3: preferred publickey,keyboard-interactive,password
debug3: authmethod_lookup publickey
debug3: remaining preferred: keyboard-interactive,password
debug3: authmethod_is_enabled publickey
debug1: Next authentication method: publickey
debug1: Offering public key: RSA SHA256:A9urKxH3aFtv/jLNwavyZs74ilTv/QI3IqaetLfhVIo C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_rsa
debug3: send_pubkey_test
debug3: send packet: type 50
debug2: we sent a publickey packet, wait for reply
debug3: receive packet: type 51
debug1: Authentications that can continue: publickey,password
debug1: Trying private key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa
debug3: no such identity: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa: No such file or directory
debug1: Trying private key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa
debug3: no such identity: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa: No such file or directory
debug1: Trying private key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519
debug3: no such identity: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519: No such file or directory
debug1: Trying private key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss
debug3: no such identity: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss: No such file or directory
debug2: we did not send a packet, disable method
debug3: authmethod_lookup password
debug3: remaining preferred: ,password
debug3: authmethod_is_enabled password
debug1: Next authentication method: password
debug3: failed to open file:C:/dev/tty error:3
debug1: read_passphrase: can't open /dev/tty: No such file or directory
root@192.168.1.1's password:

Then after entering my password, it connects and I am dropped into a remote bash session as I would expect.

If, however, I disable password authentication, I get this:

OpenSSH_for_Windows_7.7p1, LibreSSL 2.6.5
debug1: Reading configuration data C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/config
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/ProgramData/ssh/ssh_config error:2
debug2: resolve_canonicalize: hostname 192.168.1.1 is address
debug2: ssh_connect_direct: needpriv 0
debug1: Connecting to 192.168.1.1 [192.168.1.1] port 22.
debug1: Connection established.
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_rsa type 0
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_rsa-cert error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_rsa-cert.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_rsa-cert type -1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa type -1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa-cert error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa-cert.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa-cert type -1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa type -1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa-cert error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa-cert.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa-cert type -1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519 error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519 type -1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519-cert error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519-cert.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519-cert type -1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss type -1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss-cert error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss-cert.pub error:2
debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
debug1: identity file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss-cert type -1
debug1: Local version string SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_for_Windows_7.7
debug1: Remote protocol version 2.0, remote software version dropbear
debug1: no match: dropbear
debug2: fd 3 setting O_NONBLOCK
debug1: Authenticating to 192.168.1.1:22 as 'root'
debug3: hostkeys_foreach: reading file "C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/known_hosts"
debug3: record_hostkey: found key type RSA in file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/known_hosts:11
debug3: load_hostkeys: loaded 1 keys from 192.168.1.1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/known_hosts2 error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/ProgramData/ssh/ssh_known_hosts error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/ProgramData/ssh/ssh_known_hosts2 error:2
debug3: order_hostkeyalgs: prefer hostkeyalgs: ssh-rsa-cert-v01@openssh.com,rsa-sha2-512,rsa-sha2-256,ssh-rsa
debug3: send packet: type 20
debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEXINIT sent
debug3: receive packet: type 20
debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEXINIT received
debug2: local client KEXINIT proposal
debug2: KEX algorithms: curve25519-sha256,curve25519-sha256@libssh.org,ecdh-sha2-nistp256,ecdh-sha2-nistp384,ecdh-sha2-nistp521,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha256,diffie-hellman-group16-sha512,diffie-hellman-group18-sha512,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha1,diffie-hellman-group14-sha256,diffie-hellman-group14-sha1,ext-info-c
debug2: host key algorithms: ssh-rsa-cert-v01@openssh.com,rsa-sha2-512,rsa-sha2-256,ssh-rsa,ecdsa-sha2-nistp256-cert-v01@openssh.com,ecdsa-sha2-nistp384-cert-v01@openssh.com,ecdsa-sha2-nistp521-cert-v01@openssh.com,ssh-ed25519-cert-v01@openssh.com,ecdsa-sha2-nistp256,ecdsa-sha2-nistp384,ecdsa-sha2-nistp521,ssh-ed25519
debug2: ciphers ctos: chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com,aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr,aes128-gcm@openssh.com,aes256-gcm@openssh.com
debug2: ciphers stoc: chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com,aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr,aes128-gcm@openssh.com,aes256-gcm@openssh.com
debug2: MACs ctos: umac-64-etm@openssh.com,umac-128-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-512-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-etm@openssh.com,umac-64@openssh.com,umac-128@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256,hmac-sha2-512,hmac-sha1
debug2: MACs stoc: umac-64-etm@openssh.com,umac-128-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-512-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-etm@openssh.com,umac-64@openssh.com,umac-128@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256,hmac-sha2-512,hmac-sha1
debug2: compression ctos: none
debug2: compression stoc: none
debug2: languages ctos:
debug2: languages stoc:
debug2: first_kex_follows 0
debug2: reserved 0
debug2: peer server KEXINIT proposal
debug2: KEX algorithms: curve25519-sha256,curve25519-sha256@libssh.org,diffie-hellman-group14-sha256,diffie-hellman-group14-sha1,kexguess2@matt.ucc.asn.au
debug2: host key algorithms: ssh-rsa
debug2: ciphers ctos: aes128-ctr,aes256-ctr
debug2: ciphers stoc: aes128-ctr,aes256-ctr
debug2: MACs ctos: hmac-sha1,hmac-sha2-256
debug2: MACs stoc: hmac-sha1,hmac-sha2-256
debug2: compression ctos: none
debug2: compression stoc: none
debug2: languages ctos:
debug2: languages stoc:
debug2: first_kex_follows 0
debug2: reserved 0
debug1: kex: algorithm: curve25519-sha256
debug1: kex: host key algorithm: ssh-rsa
debug1: kex: server->client cipher: aes128-ctr MAC: hmac-sha2-256 compression: none
debug1: kex: client->server cipher: aes128-ctr MAC: hmac-sha2-256 compression: none
debug3: send packet: type 30
debug1: expecting SSH2_MSG_KEX_ECDH_REPLY
debug3: receive packet: type 31
debug1: Server host key: ssh-rsa SHA256:/jDzOu6TDV/tZzb1b+jJK4wsMT098A//wiCXjQn7OW0
debug3: hostkeys_foreach: reading file "C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/known_hosts"
debug3: record_hostkey: found key type RSA in file C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/known_hosts:11
debug3: load_hostkeys: loaded 1 keys from 192.168.1.1
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/Users/Kenny/.ssh/known_hosts2 error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/ProgramData/ssh/ssh_known_hosts error:2
debug3: Failed to open file:C:/ProgramData/ssh/ssh_known_hosts2 error:2
debug1: Host '192.168.1.1' is known and matches the RSA host key.
debug1: Found key in C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/known_hosts:11
debug3: send packet: type 21
debug2: set_newkeys: mode 1
debug1: rekey after 4294967296 blocks
debug1: SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS sent
debug1: expecting SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS
debug3: receive packet: type 21
debug1: SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS received
debug2: set_newkeys: mode 0
debug1: rekey after 4294967296 blocks
debug3: unable to connect to pipe \\\\.\\pipe\\openssh-ssh-agent, error: 2
debug1: pubkey_prepare: ssh_get_authentication_socket: No such file or directory
debug2: key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_rsa (0000017313D018A0)
debug2: key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa (0000000000000000)
debug2: key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa (0000000000000000)
debug2: key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519 (0000000000000000)
debug2: key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss (0000000000000000)
debug3: send packet: type 5
debug3: receive packet: type 6
debug2: service_accept: ssh-userauth
debug1: SSH2_MSG_SERVICE_ACCEPT received
debug3: send packet: type 50
debug3: receive packet: type 51
debug1: Authentications that can continue: publickey
debug3: start over, passed a different list publickey
debug3: preferred publickey,keyboard-interactive,password
debug3: authmethod_lookup publickey
debug3: remaining preferred: keyboard-interactive,password
debug3: authmethod_is_enabled publickey
debug1: Next authentication method: publickey
debug1: Offering public key: RSA SHA256:A9urKxH3aFtv/jLNwavyZs74ilTv/QI3IqaetLfhVIo C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_rsa
debug3: send_pubkey_test
debug3: send packet: type 50
debug2: we sent a publickey packet, wait for reply
debug3: receive packet: type 51
debug1: Authentications that can continue: publickey
debug1: Trying private key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa
debug3: no such identity: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_dsa: No such file or directory
debug1: Trying private key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa
debug3: no such identity: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ecdsa: No such file or directory
debug1: Trying private key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519
debug3: no such identity: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_ed25519: No such file or directory
debug1: Trying private key: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss
debug3: no such identity: C:\\Users\\Kenny/.ssh/id_xmss: No such file or directory
debug2: we did not send a packet, disable method
debug1: No more authentication methods to try.
root@192.168.1.1: Permission denied (publickey).

So what's going on here? Most of those debug messages might as well be in Chinese for me; they look just as cryptic and confusing!

As always, MTIA! :smiley:

UPDATE: After doing a little more digging on my own, I think I've narrowed down the problem to the advice given in this OpenWrt forums post.

Since I'm too inexperienced and lazy to compile my own firmware image, I followed the advice given by ThomasCr two weeks ago:

Now after splitting my extroot partition into two and configuring the first one as swap, then reconfiguring extroot on the second one and copying the files back to it from my backup image, I'm left with the same situation that the other posters in that thread were warning about (except that I can still thankfully connect with a password as described above).

Any ideas as to how I might fix this mess? Thanks again!

Post the logs from the server, too.

Thanks mate; once I did a logread | grep dropbear even I could see the obvious problem:

Sun Apr 12 09:15:56 2020 authpriv.info dropbear[3229]: /etc/dropbear must be owned by user or root, and not writable by others.

D'oh! Seems as though the culprit was this: in my efforts to copy files back to the extroot partition from my backup image, I stupidly ran chown -R kent:kent /mnt/backup on the VM used to mount the image, and forgot to revert that change on the router once I was done! :man_facepalming:

Anyway thanks again for pointing me in the right direction!

P.S. Do you think it would be wise to run chown -R root:root /overlay to ensure that I don't come across any more issues like this?