How to setup SSH Keys (TL DR;)

SSH Keys are wonderful and easy to set up. You can SSH keys to quickly log into a remote server (like your website) from the command line WITHOUT a password prompt.

How does it work?

Essentially SSH works by generating two keys (strings) on your machine: a public and a private one. You place the public key on a external server and when you log in the server makes the connection and access is granted.

How do I do it?

Setting up SSH can be done in as little as two steps:

  1. Generate SSH key Pair
  2. Copy public key to remote server (where you want to login)

Generate SSH Key Pair

First generate the SSH key pair with ssh-keygen.

ssh-keygen -t rsa

You will be asked where you want to store the file and whether or not you want a password, I just click ENTER twice.

Copy the public SSH key

Use ssh-copy-id to quickly move the public SSH key to the remote server.


You must know the username of server you are trying to access.

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