Northward Midget Pole to Pole


ssh: no matching cipher found

Posted by Quinn

After a recent Ubuntu upgrade on my home machine, ssh attempts to it from the VirtualBox instance at work stopped working.   Here's what ssh spewed back at me:

  no matching cipher found: client blowfish-cbc,arcfour server aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr,,,


Impatient, I just logged in from another machine.  The VM runs CentOS 5.10 so that its environment is comparable with what [used to be] present on the majority of our production servers.   I'm an anti-RedHat bigot in the first place, and didn't want to hunt down repos and upgrade my ssh.

That was not necessary.  The problem was a "Ciphers" line I'd added to my ~/.ssh/config, intended to prefer  ("Googallegedly") faster encryption methods.   Adding all but those that resemble email addresses seems to have fixed the issue.   My "Ciphers" line now looks like this:

  Host *
  Ciphers blowfish-cbc,arcfour,aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr


The ciphers may be defined in your system /etc/ssh/ssh_config.  Check around.  If you can't find it anywhere, try this:

  sudo find  ~/.[a-z]* /etc -path '*ssh*' -type f | sudo xargs fgrep Cipher


Anyway, that was my fix.   Right on in, easy-peasy lemon-squeezy.


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A Bit on Bits

Posted by Quinn

Electric Razor: 1010001¢

Electric Razor: 1010001¢

My precious daughters and I were watching an old Betty Boop cartoon (transferred from the original nitrate to 1080p) which included a sign for an electric razor priced at "6 1/2 bits". Knowing "two bits" represents a quarter dollar, making one bit ⅛ of a dollar, I wondered if a "bit" in computer-terminology was etymologically related.

They are not.

The ⅛ of a byte bit is shorthand for "binary digit"– a term which won out over such competing candidates as "bigit" or "binit"

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