git push to remote repository "Could not read from remote repository"

I searched for a while but I can't find a solution to my Problem.

I have a Server I can connect to via ssh with the username git and a local git repository. Now I want to push my local repository to a newly created one on the Server.

Here is what I did:

  • created a git repository in /home/git/test.git
  • initialized the repository as bare
  • added the remote repository on the local machine git remote add test ssh://git@serverIp:/home/git/test.git
  • now I executed the push command: git push test master

I always get the

fatal: could not read from remote repository

Please make sure you have the correct access rights
and the repository exists.

I am working on a local windows 7 machine and want to upload to a linux server. I can log in via ssh with the git user. I also tried to do this as the root user(to get things to work once) with the same result. I never get asked for the ssh password.

I really don't know what I am doing wrong. Before you call this a duplicate, I searched a lot for this problem and none seemed to talk about the same problem.


  • "which git" returns /usr/bin/git
  • PATH echo includes /usr/bin
  • id_rsa and files are all set up and withput Passphrase
  • ssh git@serverIp which git-receive-pack works too and returns /usr/bin/git-receive-pack
  • ssh git@serverIp ls /home/git/test.git works
  • all relevant directories are chmod 755
  • git is owner of the repository
  • auth.log file gets no new entries on tried push command
  • GIT_TRACE=2 git push test master returns:

    'C:\Program Files (x86)\PuTTY\plink.exe' '-batch' 'git@serverIp' 'git-receive-pack '\''/home/git/test.git'\''' fatal: Could not read from remote repository. Please make sure you have the correct access rights and the repository exists.


In this case, using openssh over putty was key.

Original answer (tips for debugging)

I can log in via ssh with the git user.

That means this works:

ssh git@serverIp

You do have a HOME variable defined, and ssh public/private keys (id_rsa / in %HOME%/.ssh/.

This question suggests a different url:

git remote set-url test git@serverIp:/home/git/test.git

Make sure you did create your git repo as git (and not as root, when you created the git account, as in this question). ssh git@serverIp "which git" should return the path of the git executable.

Check also that all parent directories have the relevant x (execute) bit set for the user git or the group gitgroup, running ls -ld /home /home/git /home/git/test.git. Also, getting more info for a git command can be done with:

  • git push --verbose or:
  • GIT_TRACE=2 git push test master

If you have a private ssh key with a password, it would be best to first test those ssh commands with a private ssh key not password-protected, to see if the issue persists. Or, you can keep that password-protected ssh key, but double-check your .bashrc as in this answer.

For any ssh connection issue (where git's password is needed), check:

In your case, since it works with ssh git@serverIp (interactive secure shell), but not with git (which opens a non-interactive secure shell), have a look at this thread, which references this one:

When ssh is started with a commandline, a non-interactive non-login shell is started. However...bash does not use $BASH_ENV in this case, so setting it in ~/.ssh/environment (e.g. to /etc/profile) doesn't help. What bash does is source /etc/bashrc and ~/.bashrc.

Make sure that /etc/profile does define the path for git, since a non-login account could be used here (that seems to be the case here, since ssh git@serverIp "which git" worked, and ssh git@serverIp "git --version" should too).

But check also the right issue, and test a chmod 755 on /home, /home/git and /home/git/test.git.

I personally had 2 different issues with this:

  1. plink (which is used by git on Windows) does not accept id_rsa private key as it is in OpenSSH 2 format => I had to convert it (using puttygen) to PuTTY own .ppk format and attach via Git Extensions "Remotes" dialog

  2. I specified the path to git folder wrongly, 'cause my ssh session was chrooted (It might be wrong word) and I specified that what was my FTP "root" as "/", while it was "/home/www/username/" instead.

I understood all this, using GIT TRACE=2 as described above and also by using procmon to determine the exact command-line for plink and then playing with it, adding "-v" option ("verbose").

You can also check your SSH identities by doing:

$ ssh-add -L

I had a similar problem. There was a wrong key in my identities, don't remember why. I just delete all my identities (maybe you will need to add keys again):

$ ssh-add -D  

Then I did push/pull without problems.

Set GIT_SSH environment variable to the full path of TortoisePlink.exe (you may have to download TortoiseGit for this) instead of PuTTY's plink.exe. This will allow for popup dialog window to prompt for things, i.e., confirm fingerprint, or enter password. If you use plink.exe through Git, you cannot type in responses to plink.exe prompts, which if there are any prompts will cause the fatal error you saw.

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