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SSH: Generating Public/Private Keys

Overview

Using a Public/Private key to authenticate when logging into SSH can provide added convenience or added security. The Public/Private key can be used in place of a password so that no username/password is required to connect to the server via SSH. Instead, the unique public and private keys provide secure authentication. It is advised that the key uses a different password from your cPanel password.



Generating the Key

  1. Login to your Bluehost Control Panel
  2. Choose SSH / Shell Access in the Security section.
  3. Click Manage SSH Keys
  4. Choose to Generate a new Key
  5. Enter a new Key password.
  6. Choose DSA or RSA for the type. 

    It is recommended that you choose RSA.

  7. Choose a Key size. It is recommended to use 2048 or higher.
  8. Click Generate Key
  9. Click the Go Back button.

Authorize the Key

Authorizing the key will add the public key to the authorized_keys file.
  1. Click Manage Authorization.
  2. Click the Authorize button for your newly created key.
  3. Click Go Back to return to the main page.

Private Key

The private key needs to be stored on your local computer.
  1. To the right of your private key, click View/Download.
  2. Click the Download Key button to download the private key.
    • If on Linux or Mac OS, copy the id_dsa file to your ~/.ssh folder.
    • On Windows, you will want to move it someplace safe.

Using your new key

Windows

For Windows, please see Using SSH on Windows (PuTTY).

Linux or Mac OS

ssh [email protected]
  1. Open your Terminal.
  2. Enter the following command.
  3. If you created a passphrase, you might see something like the following.
  4. Enter passphrase for key:
    '~/.ssh/id_dsa':

After entering the passphrase, you will be connected to the server.

For further assistance, you may contact our Chat Support or Phone Support via 888-401-4678. You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.