Create SSH key (optional)


In Fed4FIRE, access to testbed resources is done through SSH and more specifically SSH based on public/private key authentication. This section will guide you through the process of generating an SSH key. If you already have an SSH key, you can skip this.

Windows platform: PuTTY

PuTTY is a widely used SSH client for Windows and it includes the tool PuTTYgen to create an SSH key. You can download PuTTY from and you can download an installer of the latest version here.

To generate an SSH key, start the tool PuTTYgen.


If you click on Generate, it will start collecting random information while you move your mouse over the blank session as indicated.


When it has enough random information, it will create your key.


Now you should change the Key comment, e.g. something as fed4fire-youraccount, and provide a passphrase on your SSH key. After that, click Save private key and save it to a file on your PC, e.g. fed4fire_youraccount.ppk. Copy also the public key on top (in the frame below Public key for pasting into OpenSSH authorized_keys file) and save it to a local file, e.g. This is NOT the same format as the button Save public key will generate !


UNIX platforms (Linux/Apple OS X)

For UNIX platforms, creating an SSH key can be done through a command line tool that you run in a terminal. Run the command ssh-keygen -t rsa. The default file locations are normally okay, so you can press enter to accept them. Provide a passphrase on the SSH key.

Afterwards you have a file with the public part of your key (e.g. and a file with the private part of your key (e.g. id_rsa). The latter may never be distributed.

Output looks like:

ssh-keygen -t rsa
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/home/bvermeul2/.ssh/id_rsa):
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:
Your identification has been saved in /home/bvermeul2/.ssh/id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /home/bvermeul2/.ssh/
The key fingerprint is:
The key's randomart image is:
+--[ RSA 2048]----+
|           +=o =.|
|           .oo* o|
|          .E.  = |
|       . .    o B|
|      . S      +*|
|       = .     ..|
|      . o        |
|                 |
|                 |

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