How to create a ssh key

You can use SSH keys to establish a secure connection between two computers. The steps below will walk you through generating an SSH key.

Step 1: Check for SSH keys

First, we need to check for existing ssh keys on your computer. Open up a terminal and run the following command to list the files in your .ssh directory:

cd ~/.ssh

Check the directory listing to see if you have a file named either or If you don’t have either of those files proceed with step 2. Otherwise, you already have an existing key pair, and you do not need to do anything.

Step 2: Generate a new SSH key

To generate a new SSH key, enter the command below. We want the default settings so when asked to enter a file in which to save the key, just press enter, but do not omit setting a passphrase (a password) for the key.

ssh-keygen -t rsa -C ""

Why do passphrases matter? It keeps your secret key part secret and prevent its usage in case some can copy it!

As a result you get something like:

# Your identification has been saved in \$HOME/.ssh/id_rsa.
# Your public key has been saved in \$HOME/.ssh/
# The key fingerprint is:
# 01:0f:f4:3b:ca:85:d6:17:a1:7d:f0:68:9d:f0:a2:db

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