I have noticed that the howto doesn't work one on one in etch. If the ssh_config and sshd_config files are setup correctly, I was able to setup a user to use ssh without being prompted for a password. Also, the case with me was that I also use freenx, with the following line in sshd_config : AuthorizedKeysFile /usr/NX/home/nx/.ssh/authorized_keys2
By changing this line to: AuthorizedKeysFile %h/.ssh/authorized_keys2 ( and thus renaming authorized_keys to authorized_keys2 , other users can make use of their specific paths to the file automatically.
The strange thing is that when I set it up as noted in the rsync howto, that the ssh-server closes the connection after the public key is send. Don't know why ... Also the ip address of the sending server is then immediately placed in the hosts.deny file by denyhosts eventhough I placed it in the hosts.allow file. However when I setup rsync in a standard way (without root using someuser) it all works fine. So I got it working basically, but a bit less secure as in your howto.