An Easier Way to Generate A Public/Private SSH Key Via a GUI [Linux]

Previously, I showed you the way to generate a public/private SSH key so you can connect to your remote host securely. The method that we used is via the terminal, which can be rather unfriendly (and scary) to the Linux newbies. Here is an easier method of setting up your public/private SSH key, with a GUI.

I am not sure about any other distro (as I have not tried them all), but in Ubuntu, the default keyring manager (also known as seahorse) comes with the ability to create public/private SSH key and help you set it up in the server.

1. In Ubuntu, open the “Password and Keys” app. Go to “File -> New“.

seahorse new entry

2. In the popup window, select “Secure Shell Key” and click “Continue”.

seahorse-select-ssh-key

3. Enter a description for your SSH key and click “Create and Set Up”. You can, of course, select “Just Create Key” if you just want it to generate the keys and do nothing else.

seahorse-create-setup

If you click on the “Advanced option”, you can configure whether to use RSA or DSA for the encryption and the key strength. Most of the time, you can just leave this as default.

seahorse-advanced-options

4. Next, enter a passphrase for your key. This is purely optional. To set a empty password, just leave it blank and click OK.

5. Lastly, enter your remote hostname, port and login name. If you don’t know your remote hostname, you can replace it with its IP address. Use the “:” to separate the hostname and the port, for example “maketecheasier.com:2233“. (If you are connecting via the default port, you can leave the port section empty)

seahorse-remote-host-setup

6. It will then prompt you to enter your remote host login password. /home/username/.ssh/id_rsa

seahorse-remote-password

If everything goes well, your remote host will be properly set up to accept public/private key connection.

To accept to your remote host, you just have to enter the following command in the terminal:

ssh username@remote-host-ip-address

That’s it.

Thanks to Michael Stephenson for the tips.