Setting Up a User's Public Key

Public key authentication is an alternative to password authentication, providing a more secure authentication method that allows users to avoid entering or storing a password, or sending it over the network. It is done by using the client computer to generate the key-pair (a public key and a private key), provide the public key to the server or the point-to-point, and have the public key installed on that machine.

  1. Obtain the client's public key.
    The client should send you an email with the public key, either a text string attached in the secure email, or saved as a text file. In this example, the client's login user account is aspera_user_1.

    For instructions of creating public keys, see Creating SSH Keys, or Creating SSH Keys (Command Line).

  2. Install the client's public key to its login user account.
    To install the account's public key, create a folder called .ssh in the user's home directory. The example below sets up the public key for the user, aspera_user_1 :
    Item Value
    User name aspera_user_1
    Key file /tmp/id_rsa.pub
    Public key install location /home/aspera_user_1/.ssh/authorized_keys

    Run the following commands to install the client's public key:

    $ mkdir /home/aspera_user_1/.ssh
    $ cat /tmp/id_rsa.pub >> /home/aspera_user_1/.ssh/authorized_keys
    $ chown -R aspera_user_1:aspera_user_1  /home/aspera_user_1/.ssh