NOTE: The server can be configured for just key based authentication OR for key and password both. The latter is less common and is generally used in 2 factor authentication scenarios.

If installed on Win7, executables will likely be located at 'C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenSSH\bin'; open the command shell, navigate to the bin directory and run desired exe's.

Show a server's host key fingerprint:#

ssh-keygen -E md5 -lf <(ssh-keyscan hostname 2>/dev/null)
#the -E is used to specify the hash algorithm

Generate new key#

...where you will be asked for filename. It will be written to openssh bin directory and both the private and public key will be created, where the public key will have a .pub extension

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 2048 -C "keyname" -N c048abd94184ef9172f8fe507b06de65
# leave off the passphrase if you don't want the key to have one
# you will be prompted with a default location the key files will be written, and the option to specify the path.
# 2 files will be created: the private key file and the public one.

Setup client and server for key based user authentication#

# Client (SSH, SCP, or SFTP) needs to be configured to use the private key for authentication (method depends on client).
# On server, public key needs to be appended to the file /home/<username>/.ssh/authorized_keys

Convert source openssh public key file to IETF SECSH format#

Conversion will be printed to screen and will need to be pasted into text file. Note that you do not have to keep the comment section of the key.

ssh-keygen.exe -e -f

If the key is generated with a passphrase, the passphrase will be requested by the client when you go to login

List the fingerprint of a previously-generated private or public key:#

#to use md5 for the hashing function:
ssh-keygen -E md5 -lf keyfilepath
#to use the installed ssh-keygen default for the hashing function:
ssh-keygen -lf keyfilepath
#to use sha1 as the hashing function:
ssh-keygen -E sha1 -lf keyfilepath

Regarding RoboFTP SSH key support#

The key export function exports keys in the openSSH format * in many cases you will need to export to IETF format to make importable

Good SSH keys fundamentals info# SSH keys always come in pairs, one private and the other public. The private key is known only to you and it should be safely guarded. By contrast, the public key can be shared freely with any SSH server to which you would like to connect.

When an SSH server has your public key on file and sees you requesting a connection, it uses your public key to construct and send you a challenge. This challenge is like a coded message and it must be met with the appropriate response before the server will grant you access. What makes this coded message particularly secure is that it can only be understood by someone with the private key. While the public key can be used to encrypt the message, it cannot be used to decrypt that very same message. Only you, the holder of the private key, will be able to correctly understand the challenge and produce the correct response.

This challenge-response phase happens behind the scenes and is invisible to the user. As long as you hold the private key, which is typically stored in the ~/.ssh/ directory, your SSH client should be able to reply with the appropriate response to the server.

Because private keys are considered sensitive information, they are often stored on disk in an encrypted form. In this case, when the private key is required, a passphrase must first be entered in order to decrypt it. While this might superficially appear the same as entering a login password on the SSH server, it is only used to decrypt the private key on the local system. This passphrase is not, and should not, be transmitted over the network.

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