The PuTTYgen program is part of PuTTY, an open source networking client for the Windows platform.

Your private key. For more information about generating a key on Linux or macOS, see Connect to a server by using SSH on Linux or Mac OS X. Log in with a private key. Using a text editor, create a file in which to store your private key. This example uses the file deploymentkey.txt. To edit the file in vim, type the following command: vim deploymentkey.txt. To generate the public/private key pair, enter this in the Command Prompt: ssh-keygen At the first prompt, “Enter file in which to save the key,” press Enter to save it in the default location. Does SSH.NET accept only OpenSSH format of private key? If not, what are the restrictions? Ask Question. 'some Googling returns pages' - What pages? + What is 'SCP2'? + What does your private key file look like? + What business constraints can prevent you from using a key format that. Generate only unique combinations when input contains. Sep 06, 2019  Generating your key pair and propagating your public key is simpler than it sounds. Let’s walk through it. Generating the key. The minimum effort to generate a key pair involves running the ssh-keygen command, and choosing the defaults at all the prompts: $ ssh-keygen Generating public/private rsa key. Sep 06, 2019 Generating a key pair and propagating the public key. Generating your key pair and propagating your public key is simpler than it sounds. Let’s walk through it. Generating the key. The minimum effort to generate a key pair involves running the ssh-keygen command, and choosing the defaults at all the prompts.

To generate an SSH key pair on Windows using the PuTTYgen program:
  1. Download and install PuTTY or PuTTYgen.

    To download PuTTY or PuTTYgen, go to http://www.putty.org/ and click the You can download PuTTY here link.

  2. Run the PuTTYgen program.
  3. Set the Type of key to generate option to SSH-2 RSA.
  4. In the Number of bits in a generated key box, enter 2048.
  5. Click Generate to generate a public/private key pair.

    As the key is being generated, move the mouse around the blank area as directed.

  6. (Optional) Enter a passphrase for the private key in the Key passphrase box and reenter it in the Confirm passphrase box.

    Note:

    While a passphrase is not required, you should specify one as a security measure to protect the private key from unauthorized use. When you specify a passphrase, a user must enter the passphrase every time the private key is used.

  7. Click Save private key to save the private key to a file. To adhere to file-naming conventions, you should give the private key file an extension of .ppk (PuTTY private key).

    Note:

    The .ppk file extension indicates that the private key is in PuTTY's proprietary format. You must use a key of this format when using PuTTY as your SSH client. It cannot be used with other SSH client tools. Refer to the PuTTY documentation to convert a private key in this format to a different format.
  8. Select all of the characters in the Public key for pasting into OpenSSH authorized_keys file box.

    Make sure you select all the characters, not just the ones you can see in the narrow window. If a scroll bar is next to the characters, you aren't seeing all the characters.

  9. Right-click somewhere in the selected text and select Copy from the menu.
  10. Open a text editor and paste the characters, just as you copied them. Start at the first character in the text editor, and do not insert any line breaks.
  11. Save the text file in the same folder where you saved the private key, using the .pub extension to indicate that the file contains a public key.
  12. If you or others are going to use an SSH client that requires the OpenSSH format for private keys (such as the ssh utility on Linux), export the private key:
    1. On the Conversions menu, choose Export OpenSSH key.
    2. Save the private key in OpenSSH format in the same folder where you saved the private key in .ppk format, using an extension such as .openssh to indicate the file's content.

Introduction

Secure Shell (SSH) is an encrypted protocol used by Linux users to connect to their remote servers.

Generally, there are two ways for clients to access their servers – using password based authentication or public key based authentication.

Using SSH keys for authentication is highly recommended, as a safer alternative to passwords.

This tutorial will guide you through the steps on how to generate and set up SSH keys on CentOS 7. We also cover connecting to a remote server using the keys and disabling password authentication.

1. Check for Existing Keys

Prior to any installation, it is wise to check whether there are any existing keys on the client machines.

Open the terminal and list all public keys stored with the following command:

The output informs you about any generated keys currently on the system. If there aren’t any, the message tells you it cannot access /.ssh/id_*.pub , as there is no such file or directory.

2. Verify SSH is Installed

To check if thw package is installed, run the command:

If you already have SSH, the output tells you which version it is running. Currently, the latest version is OpenSSH 8.0/8.0p1.

Note: Refer to our guide If you need to install and enable SSH on your CentOS system.

Steps to Creating SSH keys on CentOS

Step 1: Create SSH Key Pair

1. Start by logging into the source machine (local server) and creating a 2048-bit RSA key pair using the command:

If you want to tighten up security measures, you can create a 4096-bit key by adding the -b 4096 flag:

2. After entering the command, you should see the following prompt:

3. To save the file in the suggested directory, press Enter. Alternatively, you can specify another location.

Note: If you already have a key pair in the proposed location, it is advisable to pick another directory. Otherwise it will overwrite existing SSH keys.

4. Next, the prompt will continue with:

Although creating a passphrase isn’t mandatory, it is highly advisable.

5. Finally, the output will end by specifying the following information:

Now you need to add the public key to the remote CentOS server.

You can copy the public SSH key on the remote server using several different methods:

  1. using the ssh-copy-id script
  2. using Secure Copy (scp)
  3. manually copying the key

The fastest and easiest method is by utilizing ssh-copy-id. If the option is available, we recommend using it. Otherwise, try any of the other two noted.

1. Start by typing the following command, specifying the SSH user account, and the IP address of the remote host:

If it is the first time your local computer is accessing this specific remote server you will receive the following output:

2. Confirm the connection – type yes and hit Enter.

3. Once it locates the id_rsa.pub key created on the local machine, it will ask you to provide the password for the remote account. Type in the password and hit Enter.

4. Once the connection has been established, it adds the public key on the remote server. This is done by copying the ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub file to the remote server’s ~/.ssh directory. You can locate it under the name authorized_keys.

5. Lastly, the output tells you the number of keys added, along with clear instructions on what to do next:

1. First, set up an SSH connection with the remote user:

2. Next, create the ~/.ssh directory as well as the authorized_keys file:

Ssh generate private key file format

3. Use the chmod command to change the file permission:

chmod 700 makes the file executable, while chmod 600 allows the user to read and write the file.

4. Now, open a new terminal session, on the local computer.

5. Copy the content from id_rsa.pub (the SSH public key) to the previously created authorized_keys file on the remote CentOS server by typing the command:

With this, the public key has been safely stored on the remote account.

1. To manually add the public SSH key to the remote machine, you first need to open the content from the ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub file:

2. As in the image below, the key starts with ssh-rsa and ends with the username of the local computer and hostname of the remote machine:


3. Copy the content of the file, as you will need later.

4. Then, in the terminal window, connect to the remote server on which you wish to copy the public key. Use the following command to establish the connection:

5. Create a ~/.ssh directory and authorized_keys file on the CentOS server with the following command:

6. Change their file permission by typing:

7. Next, open the authorized_keys file with an editor of your preference. For example, to open it with Nano, type:

8. Add the public key, previously copied in step 2 of this section, in a new line in (under the existing content).

9. Save the changes and close the file.

Public Private Key Encryption

10. Finally, log into the server to verify that everything is set up correctly.

Once you have completed the previous steps (creating an RSA Key Pair and copying the Public Key to the CentOS server), you will be able to connect to the remote host without typing the password for the remote account.

All you need to do is type in the following command:

If you didn’t specify a passphrase while creating the SSH key pair, you will automatically log in the remote server.

Otherwise, type in the passphrase you supplied in the initial steps and press Enter.

Once the shell confirms the key match, it will open a new session for direct communication with the server.

Although you managed to access the CentOS server without having to provide a password, it still has a password-based authentication system running on the machine. This makes it a potential target for brute force attacks.

You should disable password authentication entirely by following the outlined steps.

Note: Consider performing the following steps through a non-root account with sudo privileges, as an additional safety layer.

1. Using the SSH keys, log into the remote CentOS server which has administrative privileges:

2. Next, open the SSH daemon configuration file using a text editor of your choice:

Ssh generate private key file pem file

3. Look for the following line in the file:

4. Edit the configuration by changing the yes value to no. Thus, the directive should be as following:

5. Save the file and exit the text editor.
6. To enable the changes, restart the sshdservice using the command:

Generate Ssh Key Linux

7. Verify the SSH connection to the server is still functioning correctly. Open a new terminal window and type in the command:

How To Create Ssh Private Key File

In this article, you learned how to generate SSH key pairs and set up an SSH key-based authentication. We also covered copying keys to your remote CentOS server, and disabling SSH password authentication.

Next, You Should Read:

Coments are closed
Scroll to top