Posted 03 May, 2016
Being able to login without typing a password is not only more efficiently but one could argue its also safer. Its one of those thing you do once, and it just keeps on working, however I find myself asking how the heck did I fix this again. Well for my future self, this is how its done : logging in on Linux without using a username/password request.
I think most common distributions have this installed by default, but if not, you need the openssh package. For Centos that’s : openssh
# yum install openssh Package openssh-6.6.1p1-25.el7_2.x86_64 already installed and latest version Nothing to do
On Debian’s side : openssh-client
# apt-get install openssh-client openssh-client is already the newest version.
Creating the keypair
Is as easier then it sounds, ssh-keygen -t rsa
# ssh-keygen -t rsa Generating public/private rsa key pair. Enter file in which to save the key (/root/.ssh/id_rsa): Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): Enter same passphrase again: Your identification has been saved in /root/.ssh/id_rsa. Your public key has been saved in /root/.ssh/id_rsa.pub. The key fingerprint is: 74:23:------------:91:c2:b2:f0:4f [email protected] The key's randomart image is: +--[ RSA 2048]----+ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | +-----------------+
If you leave the request for password empty, it won’t ask you for a password and be the easiest, (which I use), however if you lose the machine (virtual or physically) the access is compromised. You have been warned.
Copy’ing the key to the remote server
Now we created a public (/root/.ssh/id_rsa.pub) and private key (/root/.ssh/id_rsa), its time to send over the public key to the server, I use two methods, as the first method depends on the binary ssh-copy-id which is not available on all systems. (mostly older systems don’t have it)
ssh-copy-id -i /root/.ssh/id_rsa.pub [email protected]
The -i is for identity_file, not case insensitive … [email protected], know that this was done for a root user, if you do it as a different use adapt paths.
The second method, is just copy’ing the key directly to the authorized_keys using command line from the first server, this only works when in fact you can login with a password, in fact it happens a some users don’t have a password. Then you really need to manually do this step, if they have, you can just let Linux copy & paste it for you.
cat /root/.ssh/id_rsa.pub | ssh [email protected] 'cat >> /root/.ssh/authorized_keys'
That’s it ! You can now login w/o using username/password login! Also rsync & scp will now stop bothering you for passwords !