Howto Linux / UNIX setup SSH with DSA public key authentication (password less login)
Q. How do you set-up SSH with DSA public key authentication? I have Linux laptop called tom and remote Linux server called jerry. How do I setup DSA based authentication so I donâ€™t have to type password?
A. DSA public key authentication can only be established on a per system / user basis only i.e. it is not system wide. You will be setting up ssh with DSA public key authentication for SSH version 2 on two machines:
#1 machine : your laptop called tom
#2 machine : your remote server called jerry
Command to type on your laptop/desktop (local computer)
First login to local computer called tom and type the following command.
Step #1: Generate DSA Key Pair
Use ssh-keygen command as follows:
$ ssh-keygen -t dsa
Enter file in which to save the key (/home/vivek/.ssh/id_dsa): Press [Enter] key Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): myPassword Enter same passphrase again: myPassword Your identification has been saved in /home/vivek/.ssh/id_dsa. Your public key has been saved in /home/vivek/.ssh/id_dsa.pub. The key fingerprint is: 04:be:15:ca:1d:0a:1e:e2:a7:e5:de:98:4f:b1:a6:01 [email protected]
Caution: a) Please enter a passphrase different from your account password and confirm the same.
b) The public key is written to /home/you/.ssh/id_dsa.pub.
c) The private key is written to /home/you/.ssh/id_dsa.
d) It is important you never-ever give out your private key.
Step #2: Set directory permission
Next make sure you have correct permission on .ssh directory:
$ chmod 755 .ssh
Step #3: Copy public key
Now copy file ~/.ssh/id_dsa.pub on Machine #1 (tom) to remote server jerry as ~/.ssh/authorized_keys:
$ scp ~/.ssh/id_dsa.pub [email protected]:.ssh/authorized_keys
Command to type on your remote server called jerry
Login to your remote server and make sure permissions are set correct:
$ chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
Task: How do I login from client to server with DSA key?
You will still be asked for the passphrase for the DSA key file each time you connect to remote server called jerry, unless you either did not enter a passphrase when generating the DSA key pair.
Task: How do I login from client to server with DSA key but without typing a passhrase i.e. password-less login?
Type the following command at shell prompt:
$ exec /usr/bin/ssh-agent $SHELL
Enter passphrase for /home/vivek/.ssh/id_dsa: myPassword Identity added: /home/vivek/.ssh/id_dsa (/home/vivek/.ssh/id_dsa)
Type your passhrase once. Now, you should not be prompted for a password whenever you use ssh, scp, or sftp command.
If you are using GUI such as Gnome use the command:
To save your passphrase during your GNOME session under Debian / Ubuntu, do as follows:
a) Click on System
b) Select Preferences
c) Select Session
d) Click on New
e) Enter “OpenSSH Password Management” in the Name text area
f) Enter /usr/lib/openssh/gnome-ssh-askpass in the command text area.
g) Click on close to save the changes
h) Log out and then log back into GNOME. After GNOME is started, a dialog box will appear prompting you for your passphrase. Enter the passphrase requested. From this point on, you should not be prompted for a password by ssh, scp, or sftp.