Public Key Authentication from OpenSSH to SSH

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I set up public key authentication from my machine to a couple of other machines. This is quite handy since you only need to provide your passphrase once and then the ssh agent does the authentication for you. However, I could not figure out why my key was not working with a particular server until I found out that there are differences between OpenSSH and SSH. To use your OpenSSH key with an SSH server, you need to convert it first and then put it in a specific place. Here a step by step tutorial, that I found here.

  1. Change to your local .ssh directory
    cd ~/.ssh
  2. Convert your public key
    ssh-keygen -e -f id_dsa.pub > id_dsa_secsh.pub
  3. Copy this new key to the remote machine into the .ssh2 directory
    scp ~/.ssh/id_dsa_secsh.pub chris@remotemachine:~/.ssh2/
  4. SSH into the remote machine
    ssh chris@remotemachine
  5. Append information to the .ssh2/authorization file
    echo Key id_dsa_secsh.pub >> .ssh2/authorization

That’s it! From now one, “ssh remotemachine" will be enough.

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