Services or capabilities described in Amazon Web Services documentation might vary by Region. To see the differences applicable to the China Regions, see Getting Started with Amazon Web Services in China (PDF).



A cluster terminates with a VALIDATION_ERROR_INVALID_SSH_KEY_NAME error when you use an Amazon EC2 key pair that isn't valid to SSH into the primary instance. The key pair name might be incorrect, or the key pair might not exist in the requested Amazon Web Services Region. For more information about key pairs, see Amazon EC2 key pairs and Linux instances in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Linux Instances.


To resolve this error, create a new cluster with a valid SSH key pair name.

To troubleshoot the failed EMR cluster, refer to the ErrorDetail information returned from the DescribeCluster and ListClusters APIs. For more information, see Error codes with ErrorDetail information. The ErrorData array within ErrorDetail returns the following information for this error code:


The SSH key pair name that you provided when you created the cluster.


The public URL of the documentation for the error code.

Steps to complete

Perform the following steps to identify and fix the error:

  1. Check your keypair.pem file and confirm that it matches the name of the SSH key that you see in the Amazon EMR console.

  2. Navigate to the Amazon EC2 console. Verify that the SSH key name that you used is available in the Amazon Web Services Region that your cluster uses. You can find your Amazon Web Services Region next to your account ID at the top of the Amazon Web Services Management Console.

  3. Launch a new cluster with a valid SSH key name.