Creating SSH Keys

Public key authentication (SSH Key) is a more secure alternative to password authentication that allows users to avoid entering or storing a password, or sending it over the network. Public key authentication uses the client computer to generate the key-pair (a public key and a private key). The public key is then provided to the remote computer's administrator to be installed on that machine. To use your Aspera product's transfer-client functionality with public key authentication, follow the steps below.

You can use the application GUI to generate key-pairs and to import existing key-pairs. You can also generate key-pairs using the command-line; for instructions, see Creating SSH Keys (Command Line).

  1. Create a key pair using the GUI

    Start the application by clicking Start menu > All Programs > Aspera > Enterprise Server > Enterprise Server. In the menu bar, click Tools > Manage Keys.

    Bring up the SSH Keys window.

    In the SSH Keys dialog, click Create a new public key to bring up the New SSH Key Pair window.

    Click [Add] in the SSH Keys window.

    The SSH Keys dialog is also available from the Connection tab in the Connection Manager. When you select Public Key for authentication, the Manage Keys button appears; clicking it opens the SSH Keys dialog.

    In the New SSH Key Pair window, enter the requested information. Click OK when finished.

    Create Key Pair window.
    Field Description
    Identity Name your key pair, such as with your user name.
    Passphrase (Optional) Set a passphrase on your SSH key, which will be prompted for whenever it needs to use the key. If you don't want the user to be prompted for passphrase when logging in, leave this field blank.
    Type Choose between RSA (default) and DSA keys.
    Access When sharing a connection with public key authentication, or a connection that is has a Hot Folder (on Windows machines), this option must be checked.
  2. Distribute the public key
    Provide the public key file (for example to your server administrator, so that it can be set up for your server connection.

    To copy or export the public key, click the key in the SSH Keys window, click Copy Public Key to Clipboard, and paste the string into an email to send to the server administrator, or click Export to File and save the public key as a file.

    For information on how to install the public key on the server, see Setting Up a User's Public Key; however, the server may be installed on a different operating system from the client.

    Copy the public key.
  3. Set up connections using public key authentication

    When your public key has been installed on the remote host by its server administrator, click Connections to bring up the Connection Manager.

    Bring up the Connection Manager.

    Click the Connection tab, then select the Public Key Authentication option and select the key that is installed on this host.

    Choose the key for the connection's authentication.

    Note: When you are sharing a connection with public key authentication (Share this connection with all users on this computer checkbox is checked), the SSH key should be shared as well.

To import keys created outside the GUI, go to Tools > Manage Keys to open the SSH Keys dialog. Click the button in the upper-left corner of the dialog to open a file browser. You can import the key pair by selecting either the private key or the public key; this will copy both keys into the user's .ssh directory. You cannot import a key pair if a key pair with the same identity already exists in the .ssh directory.

Imported key pairs can be shared with other users. In the SSH Keys dialog, select a key and click the button to open the Edit SSH Key Pair dialog. Select Access to allow shared connections to use this key. Shared keys are moved to the Enterprise Server etc directory.