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How to configure SSH key on cPanel

SSH (Secure Shell) is a protocol that provides a secure method to access another computer or server. Connection via SSH comes with an encrypted data and a strong verification used between computers or servers over an unreliable network. It's prevalent for managing applications and systems remotely, and moving files from one computer to another by logging into another computer. When using SSH, login credentials, commands, and texts are encrypted.

You can easily configure an SSH Key on your cPanel by following these steps:

  1. Create SSH Key
  2. Authorize SSH Key
  3. View, Download and Convert SSH Key

Create SSH Key

Here are detailed instructions on how you can create an SSH Key through your cPanel or Hosting Manager:

Step 1. Click Sign Up / Log In at the top of this page.
Step 2. Select Hosting Manager from the drop-down menu.
Step 3. Enter your username and password then, click Log In.
Step 4. On the Home page, click Security or the [ v ] Arrow Symbol on its right side, and click SSH Access.
Step 5. Click the Manage SSH Keys button.
Step 6. Under Manage SSH Keys, click the Generate a New Key button.
how to create an ssh key
Step 7. If preferred, change the default Key Name (id_dsa) by replacing it with your own.
how to create an ssh key
Step 8. Enter Key Password twice in the respective fields.
Make sure to create a strong password. The Strength Meter will tell you if your password is weak or strong.
how to create an ssh key
If it's challenging, you can let the system create one for you by following these steps:

  1. Click the Password Generator button, next to the Strength Meter.
  2. In the pop-up box, copy the generated password and tick the box for I have copied this password in a safe place.
  3. Click Use Password. This will automatically copy and paste the generated password in the Password fields.

Important Note: Make sure to save the password in a safe and easy-to-recall place.

Step 9. Select Key Type and Key Size according to your preference. The recommended settings are Key Type: RSA and Key Size: 2048.
how to create an ssh key

Important Note: RSA is faster for authentication, while DSA is faster for key generation and signing.

Step 10. Click the Generate Key button to continue. A confirmation message will appear on the next page.
how to create an ssh key

Now that you've created your SSH Key, you will have to authorize it before you can use it.

Authorize SSH Key

Follow the instructions below to authorize the SSH Key you just created in your cPanel or Hosting Manager:

Step 1. Click on the Go Back button at the bottom of the page, to return to the main SSH Access page.
Step 2. The newly-created SSH Key will appear under Public Keys. Click the corresponding Manage button on its right side.
how to authorize an ssh key
Step 3. Click on the Authorize button.
how to authorize an ssh key
A confirmation message will appear on the next page.
how to authorize an ssh key

Your SSH Key has now been authorized and can now be used for access.

View, Download and Convert SSH Key

Follow the instructions below to learn how you can view or download the SSH Key on your cPanel or Hosting Manager, or convert it to PPK format before downloading:

Step 1. Click on the Go Back button at the bottom of the page, to return to the main SSH Access page.
Step 2. Under Private Keys, click on the View/Download button corresponding to your newly-created SSH Key.
how to view/download an ssh key or convert it to ppk format
Step 3. You are now viewing your SSH Key. Click Download Key to save it.
how to view/download an ssh key or convert it to ppk format
Or, convert it to PPK format first: enter your SSH Key password in the field provided for passphrase and click Convert.
how to convert an ssh key to ppk format
Then, click Download Key to save it.
how to convert an ssh key to ppk format and download it

Congratulations! You just learned how to configure SSH Keys on your cPanel. Now, you can log into the server using SSH Keys. If you intend to do so, click here.

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