I encountered this today, and it took me some time to figure out what’s going on, as the behavior was so strange it shut off my reasoning.
I’ve got a password-based access to my hosting, and few SSH passphraseless keys for SVN+SSH access to different repositories.
Today, while trying to SSH to the server I got:
$ ssh firstname.lastname@example.org ( success ( 2 2 ( ) ( edit-pipeline svndiff1 absent-entries commit-revprops depth log-revprops partial-replay ) ) )
As if the svnserve is responding; all I had to notice at this point (which I didn’t at first) is that I managed to get to the server without any password. In other words, SSH client just grabbed some passphraseless key, logged in, and as these are set to execute only svnserve, it did so.
The problem is that the PreferredAuthentications setting of the SSH client differs among different systems I use.
To make sure that you’re using the method you want, you can use the -o switch, like this:
ssh -o PreferredAuthentications=keyboard-interactive,password,publickey email@example.com