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How to create SSH keys. (Linux, Windows)

Solution

An SSH Key allows you to log into your server without needing a password. SSH Keys can be automatically added to servers during the installation process.

Creating a SSH key on Windows

The simplest way to create SSH key on Windows is to use puttygen.

  • Download and run PuttyGen.
  • Click the "Generate" button.
  • For additional security, you can enter a key passphrase. This will be required to use the SSH key, and will prevent someone with access to your key file from using the key.
  • Once the key has been generated, click "Save Private Key". Make sure you save this somewhere safe, as it is not possible to recover this file if it gets lost
  • Select all of the text in the "Public key for pasting into OpenSSH authorized_keys file". This is what you would need to enter into server control panels to use the SSH key.

Creating a SSH key on Linux

The tools to create and use SSH are standard, and should be present on most Linux distributions. With the following commands, you can generate ssh key.

  • Run: ssh-keygen -t rsa. For a more secure 4096-bit key, run: ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096
  • Press enter when asked where you want to save the key (this will use the default location).
  • Enter a passphrase for your key.
  • Run cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub - this will give you the key in the proper format to paste into the control panel.
  • Make sure you backup the ~/.ssh/id_rsa file. This cannot be recovered if it is lost.
 
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