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This document is for a previous release of cPanel & WHM. To view our latest documentation, visit our Home page.

For cPanel & WHM 11.44

(Home >> Security Center >> Manage root's SSH Keys)

Overview

This interface allows you to add, import, and manage the SSH keys on your web server. The system divides SSH keys into public and private key sets in two separate lists.

Note:

You can use SSH keys to securely copy an account from one server (the remote server) to another server (the local or destination server). For more information, read our How to Copy an Account with SSH Keys documentation.

 

Generate a New Key

Use this section of the interface to create new SSH key sets, which include a public key and a private key.

To generate a new SSH key set, perform the following steps: 

  1. Click Generate a New Key.
  2. To use a custom key name, enter the key name in the Key Name (defaults to id_dsa): text box.

    Note:

    If you use a custom key name, you must manually specify the SSH key when you log in to the server. 

    To manually specify the SSH key, run the following command, where user is the username and example is the server name or IP address:

    ssh user@example -i /root/.ssh/key_name 
  3. To use a password for the SSH key:
    • Enter and confirm the new password in the appropriate text boxes.

      Notes:

      • The system grades the password that you enter on a scale of 100 points. 0 indicates a weak password, while 100 indicates a very secure password.
      • Some web hosts require a minimum password strength. A green password Strength meter indicates that you met the required password strength.
      • Click Password Generator to generate a strong password. For more information, read our Password Generator documentation.
  4. Select the desired key type.
    • DSA keys provide quicker key generation and signing times.
    • RSA keys provide quicker verification times.
  5. Select the desired key size. 

    Note:

    Greater key sizes are more secure, but they result in larger file sizes and slower authentication times.

  6. Click Generate Key. WHM will display the saved location of the key.

    Important:

    For the new SSH key to function, you must authorize the SSH key. Read the Manage your keys section below for more information.

Import Key

To import an existing SSH key, perform the following steps:

  1. Click Import Key.
  2. To use a custom key name, enter the key name in the Choose a name for this key (defaults to id_dsa) text box.

    Important:

    If you use a custom key name, you must manually specify the SSH key when you log in to the server. 

    To manually specify the SSH key, run the following command, where user is the username and example is the server name or IP address:

    ssh user@example -i /root/.ssh/key_name 
  3. To import a PPK file, enter the password in the Private key passphrase (Needed for PPK import only) text box.
  4. Paste the public and private keys into the appropriate text boxes.

    Important:

    Do not enter the private key when you import another server's key to allow SSH connections between the two servers, or to use SSH for account transfers. 

    Private keys should always remain on the server that generated them.

  5. Click Import.

Manage your keys

The Public Keys  and Private Keys tables display the following information about your existing keys:

ColumnDescription
NameThe key's name. Public and private keys share the same key name.
Authorization Status

Whether you have authorized the key.

Important:

You must authorize new keys before you attempt to use them. 

Note:

This column only displays in the Public Keys table. 

Actions

You can perform the following actions:

  • Delete Key — Click to delete the key, and then click Yes to confirm that you wish to delete the key.
  • View/Download Key — Click to view or download the key. To download the key, copy the contents of the text box that appears to a file on your computer.
  • Manage Authorization — Click to manage authorization for the key. In the new interface that appears, click Authorize to authorize the key, or Deauthorize to deauthorize the key.

    Notes:

    • This action is only available for public keys.
    • When you deauthorize a key, that key's users will not be able to log in with the associated private key.
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