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The way to View Your SSH Keys in Linux, macOS and Home windows

If you happen to’re undecided find out how to view your SSH certificates, this text walks you thru the steps on Linux, macOS and Home windows.

There can be occasions when it’s essential truly view your SSH certificates on Linux. Why? Say, for instance, it’s essential add a certificates for authentication on GitHub (or another on-line service that requires SSH authentication). You recognize you’ve created these SSH certificates, however how do you view them?

SEE: Discover this id theft safety coverage from TechRepublic Premium.

For many who are accustomed to SSH, you most likely already know the reply to that query. In spite of everything, that is fairly fundamental SSH stuff. For many who are new to the methods of SSH (or Linux, macOS or Home windows for that matter), the duty would possibly stump you.

By no means concern, that’s why I’m right here.

I wish to present you simply how simple it’s to view these SSH keys, so you should utilize them for third-party companies.

Leap to:

What you’ll want

The one factor you’ll want for that is entry to a server or desktop (Linux, macOS or Home windows) and an SSH key created. If you happen to’ve not already created your SSH key pair, you are able to do so with the command:


That command will generate a key pair, each private and non-private keys. The general public secret’s that which you ship to servers for SSH key authentication. Whenever you try to log in to that server, SSH will evaluate the private and non-private keys. If these keys are a match, you’ll be allowed entry. Easy sufficient. You’re prepared to maneuver on.

The way to view your SSH public key on Linux

There are two simple methods to view your SSH public key in Linux: utilizing the cat command or utilizing each the ssh-agent and ssh-add instructions, which is a little more sophisticated. The second methodology might be overkill for what you want, however it’s a great way to view the important thing whereas requiring your SSH keypair password.

Utilizing the ssh-agent command

  1. Run the command:
    ssh-agent sh -c 'ssh-add; ssh-add -L'
  2. Upon profitable authentication, your SSH public key will print out within the terminal.
  3. You’ll be able to then copy that and paste it the place you want it.

If you happen to don’t wish to should memorize one more command, you possibly can merely use the cat command.

Utilizing the cat command

  1. Run the command:
    cat ~/.ssh/
  2. The command will print out your SSH key in your Linux machine with out prompting you in your key authentication password.

The way to view your SSH public key on macOS

Viewing your keys on macOS could be finished similarly as on Linux.

To view the SSH public key on macOS

  1. Open your terminal window, and run the command
    cat ~/.ssh/


    cat /Customers/USERNAME/.ssh/

    The place USERNAME is your macOS username.

  2. The above instructions will print out your SSH public key.

macOS additionally has another nifty trick up its sleeve. You’ll be able to copy the contents of the SSH key on to the clipboard, with out displaying the important thing, utilizing the pbcopy device.

To repeat the SSH public key on Mac

  1. Run the command:
    cat ~/.ssh/ | pbcopy
  2. When you’ve copied the important thing to your clipboard, you possibly can paste it wherever you want it.

The way to view your SSH public key on Home windows

When you’ve got not generated an SSH Key but, you possibly can generate one now.

To generate an SSH public key on Home windows

  1. Run the command:
  2. You’ll be requested the place to save lots of the important thing.
  3. If you happen to use the defaults, it is going to save your keys in C:Consumer[YourUserName].sshid.
  4. You’ll then be prompted to enter a passphrase. You’ll be able to hit Enter for an empty/no passphrase.
  5. It should then ask you to substantiate the passphrase.
  6. Your key can be generated.

To view your SSH public key on Home windows

  1. Run the command:

    The place USERNAME is the identify of your consumer.

  2. The command will show your SSH public key.
  3. Now, use the Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut to repeat the contents of the file.

You can even do one thing much like what we did on macOS (copying the SSH public key on to the clipboard).

To repeat the SSH public key on Home windows

  1. Subject the command:
    sort | clip

    The place USERNAME is your username.

  2. Now, paste that key on a phrase processor or wherever you want it.

The way to view your non-public key

Likelihood is, you’re by no means going to should view your non-public key. In spite of everything, that’s the key within the sauce that’s by no means on show for anybody to see. However on the off probability you do must view that key, you possibly can observe the identical steps as above, however take away the .pub from the file identify in any occasion.

Bear in mind, id_rsa is the non-public key, and is the general public key. And that’s all there may be to viewing your SSH private and non-private keys on Linux, macOS, and Home windows.

Make sure to deal with these keys with the care and safety they deserve. Though your public key can be handed out to different customers and companies, that personal key must be tucked away and by no means proven to the general public.

If you happen to do by accident launch that personal key, you’ll must:

  1. Take away the general public key from the authorized_keys file on each server that makes use of the important thing pair.
  2. Delete the private and non-private keys on the host.
  3. Generate a brand new key pair.
  4. Ship the brand new key pair to the servers it’s essential log in to with SSH key authentication.

If you happen to depart any hint of that compromised key pair on any server or desktop, you run the chance of permitting somebody entry.



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