Frequently Asked Questions

General

  1. Why exchange keys?

    It can make life easier. By exchanging SSH keys among machines, you now no longer have to type in passwords when remotely logging in to machines. If you are constantly logging into several systems in a day, you've just saved yourself the time it takes you to remember your password and type it in. And if you're like me and can't always type your password correctly, you've just saved yourself the trouble of several mistyped [sq passwords.

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  3. Is it secure?

    Yes. The script generates three sets of public/private key pairs that are 1024 bits long used to encrypt SSH traffic between machines. The key sets that are created are "rsa1" for SSH version 1, and "rsa" and "dsa" for SSH version 2. Depending on your version of SSH and your set up, SSH then uses the appropriate key pair to encrypt the SSH traffic.

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  5. How does public key encryption work?

    Quite simplistically, a very large number is used to generate a pair of asymmetric keys for an individual. One key is public and known to the world, the other is private and known only to the owner. Encrypted messages are sent by encrypting the message with the recipient's public key. The recipient then decrypts the message using their private key. A more complete explanation can be found here.

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Installation

  1. What is required to run Make User SSH Keys?

    A UNIX Shell and SSH.

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  3. What Operating Systems are supported?

    Any that support SSH.

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Operation

  1. I've exchanged keys, but I can only login to one of the machines without a password.

    Key exchanges are one way only.

    If you have two machines, redfish and bluefish and ran the command mk_user_ssh_keys.sh [-t bluefish] [-u thing1] on the machine redfish, then you have only exchanged keys for the user thing1 from redfish to bluefish.

    If you also want to have a password-less login for user thing1 from bluefish to redfish then you need to create and exchange keys for user thing1 from redfish to bluefish. To do this, you need to run the command mk_user_ssh_keys.sh [-t redfish] [-u thing1] from the machine bluefish.

    You should now be able to log in from one machine to the other without the need to type a password.

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  3. What happens if I change my password?

    Nothing. Your keys are not dependent on your password and will continue to work no matter how many you change your password.

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