How to generate an SSH Key?

This guide shows how to generate an SSH Key on a shared server. First, you need to make sure SSH is enabled for your account. Even if your package includes SSH, it is disabled by default for security reasons. Contact support to check if SSH is enabled.

Key-based authentication is one of the most secure ways of authentication as it is nearly impossible to brute-force, or guess. In order to start using SSH, you need to generate a private and a public key. The public key is generated onto the server, while the private key is saved on your computer. Here is how to generate keys:

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  1. Go to SSH Access in your cPanel and click on Manage SSH Keys
  2. Click on Generate A New Key;
  3. Fill in the key name and the key password
  4. Select the key type:
    • RSA keys yield faster confirmation of identity (recommended)
    • DSA keys benefit from a faster sign in and key generation
  5. Proceed to click Generate Key, which will create a public key on the server and a matching private key.
  6. Click on option Manage next to the key you have generated and authorize it. Without authorizing this key, you will not be able to connect.
  7. Some clients only read private keys in a .ppk format. To convert the private key, go to the View/Download option next to the PRIVATE key, enter the key password from step 3 and click Convert. You can then download the private key in .ppk format.

You can then download, view or convert the generated private key to use with PuTTY, Mac or Linux Terminal.

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