Add ssh key to remote host

2011-11-15 458 words 3 mins read

Example of tunnelling an X11 application over SSH
Image via Wikipedia

If you are working on recent versions of the *nix OS like Fedora or Ubuntu then you would know about the commad ssh-copy-id. But if you land up using one of the older versions like Solaris or something where the command is not present, then probably you need a simpler solution to this. One of the simplest solution is with a lot of assumtions, simply copy the id_rsa file to remote server and hope it works. And here is  a script to do just that:

#!/bin/bash -
#          FILE:
#         USAGE:  ./
#   DESCRIPTION:  Add the ssh key
#       OPTIONS:  ---
#          BUGS:  ---
#         NOTES:  ---
#        AUTHOR: Amit Agarwal (aka),
#       COMPANY: Roamware India Pvt Ltd
#       CREATED: 09/19/2011 11:02:08 AM IST
# Last modified: Mon Sep 19, 2011  11:02AM
#      REVISION:  ---
IFS=$"\n' key=$(cat .ssh/
ssh $un@$ip "echo $key >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys"

or the other option is to copy the ssh-copy-id script to the server in question. If you don’t have the script handy, I am pasting it here:


# Shell script to install your public key on a remote machine
# Takes the remote machine name as an argument.
# Obviously, the remote machine must accept password authentication,
# or one of the other keys in your ssh-agent, for this to work.


if [ "-i" = "$1" ]; then
  # check if we have 2 parameters left, if so the first is the new ID file
  if [ -n "$2" ]; then
    if expr "$1" : ".*\.pub" > /dev/null ; then
    shift         # and this should leave $1 as the target name
  if [ x$SSH_AUTH_SOCK != x ] && ssh-add -L >/dev/null 2>&1; then
    GET_ID="$GET_ID ssh-add -L"

if [ -z "`eval $GET_ID`" ] && [ -r "${ID_FILE}" ] ; then
  GET_ID="cat ${ID_FILE}"

if [ -z "`eval $GET_ID`" ]; then
  echo "$0: ERROR: No identities found" >&2
  exit 1

if [ "$#" -lt 1 ] || [ "$1" = "-h" ] || [ "$1" = "--help" ]; then
  echo "Usage: $0 [-i [identity_file]] [user@]machine" >&2
  exit 1

# strip any trailing colon
host=`echo $1 | sed 's/:$//'`

{ eval "$GET_ID" ; } | ssh $host "umask 077; test -d ~/.ssh || mkdir ~/.ssh ; cat >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys" || exit 1

cat <<EOF
Now try logging into the machine, with "ssh '$host'", and check in:


to make sure we haven't added extra keys that you weren't expecting.

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Authored By Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal, Linux and Photography are my hobbies.Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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