setup your public SSH key to another UNIX Host

Normally you would prefer to use your public ssh key for login into a remote linux machine.
I created a script to perform the basic steps for inserting your public key into the hosts authorized_keys files.

The script looks like this:


echo ">> setup your ssh keys for $HOST"
echo ""
echo ">> creating ssh keys on $HOST if necessary"
echo "(you need to enter your password)"
echo ""
ssh $HOST 'if [ ! -d ~/.ssh  ] ; then ssh-keygen -t rsa; fi'
echo ""
PUBKEY=`cat ~/.ssh/`
echo "=========================================================="
echo "your"
echo "$PUBKEY"
echo "=========================================================="
echo ""
echo ">> transfering your public ssh key"
scp ~/.ssh/authorized_keys $HOST:~/.ssh/authorized_keys
ssh $HOST 'chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys'
echo ""
echo ">> login with your public key"
echo "(should work without a password)"
ssh $HOST

A typical run might look like this:

imotep:~ philipp$ setupssh philipp@
>> setup your ssh keys for philipp@

>> creating ssh keys on philipp@ if necessary
(you need to enter your password)

The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is ...
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added '' (RSA) to the list of known hosts.
philipp@'s password:
Enter file in which to save the key (/home/philipp/.ssh/id_rsa):
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Created directory '/home/philipp/.ssh'.
Your identification has been saved in /home/philipp/.ssh/id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /home/philipp/.ssh/
The key fingerprint is:
... philipp@debian
The key's randomart image is:
+--[ RSA 2048]----+
|...              |


>> transfering your public ssh key
philipp@'s password:
authorized_keys                                                                         100%  610     0.6KB/s   00:00    

>> login with your public key
(should work without a password)
Linux debian 2.6.26-2-amd64 #1 SMP Thu Nov 25 04:30:55 UTC 2010 x86_64

The programs included with the Debian GNU/Linux system are free software;
the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the
individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright.

Debian GNU/Linux comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent
permitted by applicable law.
Last login: Sun Jan 23 17:31:16 2011 from

2 Replies to “setup your public SSH key to another UNIX Host”

  1. i did not now ssh-copy-id yet. I guess a difference would be that above script works also with other unices besides linux :-).

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