Mac: Generating an SSH key

We are a bit more strict about our security than most hosts in that we do not use the traditional username/password combination to access web sites. Instead we use shared SSH keys. These are fairly easy to manage on Mac/Linux machines.

You probably already have an SSH key on your Mac. If not it’s easy to generate one.

Open the Terminal application (in Applications > Utilities) and type this:

cat ~/.ssh/

If you see a bunch of gibberish starting with “ssh-rsa AAAAB3Nz” you have a key! Just press the up-arrow on your keyboard (which will show the last command typed) and add the pipe | along with “pbcopy” (pbcopy is a command line utility to copy to the keyboard). So you will have:

cat ~/.ssh/ | pbcopy

If you get a message saying “No such file or directory”, no problem! Just type this:

ssh-keygen -b2048

Hit return at all of the prompts. You will see this:

The key's randomart image is:
+---[RSA 2048]----+
| .oooo+o+Oo      |
| . ..=.BO o+     |
|E   = XoBo*.     |
|     X =.X..     |
|    o + S =      |
|     . + *       |
|                 |
|                 |
|                 |

Now just run this again:

cat ~/.ssh/ | pbcopy

…and open an email and paste your clipboard and send it to us!