// Tutorials //

How to generate an SSH key and add to authorized_keys

by Dillon - Updated -

In this article we explain how to generate a SSH key for your local machine and add your public key to the authorized_keys on a remote server.

Generate an SSH key for Windows, MAC and Linux

Note: If you are using Windows, we recommend you use a SSH client like PuTTY.

For MAC/Linux run:

ssh-keygen -t rsa

The ssh-keygen program will prompt you for the location of the key file. Press Return to accept the defaults.

You can optionally set a passphrase to protect your key. Press Return to skip this step.\

Add your SSH key to a remote servers authorized_keys

Note: You will need access to the remote server

First copy your public key you have just generated. Your public key has the .pub extension when generated using ssh-keygen.

Next on the remote server, open the authorized_keys file and paste your public key.

nano ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

Now your local machine can use SSH to login on the remote server.

ssh username@remote-host-name-or-ip

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Dillon Smart

👋 Hey, I'm Dillon!

I'm a Full Stack developer from the U.K. I've been building websites and applications for 11 years! Along the way I've picked up a few things, and share them here on IKnowThatNow.com.

Feel free to reach out on Twitter!

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I Know That Now

[…] Note: It is best practice to connect to remote servers using either a strong unique password or using an SSH key pair. Refer to How to generate an SSH key pair and add to authorized_keys on remote server. […]

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