Generate and use SSH keys with IU Sitehosting

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Overview

To use SSH keys on IU Sitehosting, follow the instructions for your OS.

Note:
You should not manually edit your authorized_keys file in the .ssh directory in your account. Any manual changes made to this file will be purged.

Generate SSH keys on Linux/Mac

  1. Generate a public/private key pair:
    1. Log in to the computer you will use to access Sitehost, and then use the command line to generate a key pair. To generate RSA keys, on the command line, enter:
      ssh-keygen -t rsa
    2. You will be prompted to supply a filename (for saving the key pair) and a passphrase (for protecting your private key):
      • Filename: To accept the default filename and location for your key pair, press Enter or Return without entering a filename. Alternatively, you can enter a filename (for example, my_ssh_key) at the prompt, and then press Enter or Return.
      • Passphrase: Enter a passphrase that contains at least five characters, and then press Enter or Return. If you press Enter or Return without entering a passphrase, your private key will be generated without password protection.
  2. Once the key pair has been generated, navigate to the location where you saved the public key.
  3. Copy the contents of your public key (this is the file with the .pub extension).
  4. Once you copy the contents of your public key, see Add a public key to IU Sitehosting below.

Generate SSH keys on Windows

  1. Install PuTTY. The PuTTY command-line SSH client, the PuTTYgen key generation utility, the Pageant SSH authentication agent, and the PuTTY SCP and SFTP utilities are packaged together in a Windows installer available under The MIT License for free download from the PuTTY development team.
  2. Launch PuTTYgen.
  3. In the "PuTTY Key Generator" window, under "Parameters":
    • For "Type of key to generate", select RSA. (In older versions of PuTTYgen, select SSH2-RSA.)
    • For "Number of bits in a generated key", leave the default value (2048).
  4. Under "Actions", click Generate.
    PuTTY Key Generator with Parameters box and Generate button highlighted
  5. When prompted, use your mouse (or trackpad) to move your cursor around the blank area under "Key"; this generates randomness that PuTTYgen uses to generate your key pair.
  6. When your key pair is generated, PuTTYgen displays the public key in the area under "Key". In the "Key passphrase" and "Confirm passphrase" text boxes, enter a passphrase to passphrase-protect your private key.
    PuTTY Key Generator with passphrase fields highlighted
    Note:
    If you don't passphrase-protect your private key, anyone with access to your computer will be able to SSH (without being prompted for a passphrase) to your account on any remote system that has the corresponding public key.
  7. Right-click in the "Public key for pasting into OpenSSH authorized_keys file" text box, choose Select All, and then right-click in the text box again and select Copy.
  8. Save your private key in a safe place. You'll use the passphrase any time you log into a Sitehost server using SSH keys, and you'll need to copy the private key to your profile on the WebTech website. To save your private key:
    1. Under "Actions", next to "Save the generated key", click Save private key.
      PuTTY Key Generator with Save private key button highlighted
      Note:
      If you didn't passphrase-protect your private key, the utility will ask whether you're sure you want to save it without a passphrase. Click Yes to proceed or No to go back and create a passphrase for your private key.
    2. Keep "Save as type" set to PuTTY Private Key Files (*.ppk), give the file a name (for example, putty_private_key), select a location on your computer to store it, and then click Save.
    3. If you wish to connect to a remote desktop system such as Research Desktop (RED), click Conversions > Export OpenSSH key, give the file a name (for example, putty_rsa), select a location on your computer to store it, and then click Save.
Note:

If you no longer have the public key, or if it is later determined to be invalid, use the following steps to obtain a public key:

  1. Launch PuTTYgen.
  2. Click Load.
  3. Navigate to your private key and click Open.
  4. In the PuTTYgen pop-up window, enter the passphrase.
  5. Right-click in the "Public key for pasting into OpenSSH authorized_keys file" text box, choose Select All, and then right-click in the text box again and select Copy.
  6. Select File > Exit to close PuTTYgen.

Add a public key to IU Sitehosting

  1. Go to the Enterprise Web Technical Services Linux Account Management site.
  2. At the top right, click Sign in, and, if prompted, log in with your IU username and passphrase.
  3. At the top right, click your name. You'll be taken to the "Manage your profile" page.
  4. Under "Add Public SSH Key":
    1. In the "Note" field, enter a short description.
    2. In the "Public Key" field, paste the public key you copied in step 7 above.
  5. Click Add. If the public key is valid, it will be added to your profile. Within 30 minutes, the public key will be added to all sitehost-test and sitehost accounts that you own, or for which you are a proxy or developer.

Connect to IU Sitehosting using SSH keys in various applications

This is document ayet in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2019-10-15 10:07:44.

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