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SSH Without A Password

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ssh without a passwordWhen you start using SSH you’ll quickly find it asks for your password. Frequently. Murphy copies files to the web server over an SSH transport and each new copy operation prompts for a password. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Set up an SSH key pair and the keys will handle authentication.

The steps to implement your key pair are pretty straight forward. On the client computer you execute one command that generates the key pair. Then you add the contents of the public key to a file called authorized_keys2 on the server. If the file doesn’t exist on the server you can simply rename your public key file to authorized_keys2 and you’re done.

That’s it. Once the authorized_keys2 file contains your public key you can login with SSH from any machine with the private key. The logic is that only someone with proper credentials could have placed the public key in the appropriate folder on the server. And once that public key is in place only the corresponding private key will be authenticated without a password.

Here’s the really interesting thing about all these keys: You can give that same public key to as many people as you want. And even though they can all use it, and only it, to verify that you have the corresponding private key, they cannot ascertain what that private key is. The underlying technology is called asymmetric cryptography in case you want to know more.

Once you’ve set up the keys like we’ll show you in the screencast you can use other tools without passwords too, like scp and rsync for copying files. We’ll get to scp in a later screencast. Murphy introduced rsync as a way to copy an iWeb site to a third-party server.

This screencast picks up where we left off yesterday, with SSH already up and running.

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6 comments to “SSH Without A Password”

  1. HI, Thanks for excellent tutorials.

    Does it matter where you create ssh keys-on server or client?
    If I am using two clients to access one server, how to append authorized_keys2 at the end so that it will allow both the clients.

    Is it ok if I generate ssh keys on server, and transfer private keys to both clients, so that i don’t need to append authorized_keys file every time I am adding the client.

    If I am using rsa instead of dsa, do i still name the authorized_key file as authorized_keys2? Is it just a difference in name of the file or some thing more?
    Thanks for any help, I know you put this tutorial long time ago.

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  5. There is no direct otpion to reset password. copssh is using windows users for authentication. You can solve it by deactivating and activating the user again. Select deactivate user from programs menuNow select Activate user Copssh activation wizard will ask you to enter the new password. User will be activated with new password.In effect Password is changed for that user. 0Was this answer helpful?

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