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SSH-KEYGEN(1)             BSD General Commands Manual            SSH-KEYGEN(1)

NAME
     ssh-keygen - authentication key generation, management and conversion

SYNOPSIS
     ssh-keygen [-q] [-b bits] -t type [-N new_passphrase] [-C comment] [-f output_keyfile]
     ssh-keygen -p [-P old_passphrase] [-N new_passphrase] [-f keyfile]
     ssh-keygen -i [-f input_keyfile]
     ssh-keygen -e [-f input_keyfile]
     ssh-keygen -y [-f input_keyfile]
     ssh-keygen -c [-P passphrase] [-C comment] [-f keyfile]
     ssh-keygen -l [-f input_keyfile]
     ssh-keygen -B [-f input_keyfile]
     ssh-keygen -D pkcs11
     ssh-keygen -F hostname [-f known_hosts_file] [-l]
     ssh-keygen -H [-f known_hosts_file]
     ssh-keygen -R hostname [-f known_hosts_file]
     ssh-keygen -r hostname [-f input_keyfile] [-g]
     ssh-keygen -G output_file [-v] [-b bits] [-M memory] [-S start_point]
     ssh-keygen -T output_file -f input_file [-v] [-a num_trials] [-W generator]
     ssh-keygen [-n] [-D smartcard]
     ssh-keygen -s ca_key -I certificate_identity [-h] [-Z principals] [-O option] [-V validity_interval]
                [-z serial_number] file ...
     ssh-keygen -L [-f input_keyfile]

DESCRIPTION
     ssh-keygen generates, manages and converts authentication keys for ssh(1).  ssh-keygen can create RSA keys for
     use by SSH protocol version 1 and DSA, ECDSA or RSA keys for use by SSH protocol version 2.  The type of key to
     be generated is specified with the -t option.  If invoked without any arguments, ssh-keygen will generate an RSA
     key for use in SSH protocol 2 connections.

     ssh-keygen is also used to generate groups for use in Diffie-Hellman group exchange (DH-GEX).  See the MODULI
     GENERATION section for details.

     Normally each user wishing to use SSH with public key authentication runs this once to create the authentication
     key in ~/.ssh/identity, ~/.ssh/id_ecdsa, ~/.ssh/id_dsa or ~/.ssh/id_rsa.  Additionally, the system administrator
     may use this to generate host keys, as seen in /etc/rc.

     Normally this program generates the key and asks for a file in which to store the private key.  The public key is
     stored in a file with the same name but ".pub" appended.  The program also asks for a passphrase.  The passphrase
     may be empty to indicate no passphrase (host keys must have an empty passphrase), or it may be a string of arbi-
     trary length.  A passphrase is similar to a password, except it can be a phrase with a series of words, punctua-
     tion, numbers, whitespace, or any string of characters you want.  Good passphrases are 10-30 characters long, are
     not simple sentences or otherwise easily guessable (English prose has only 1-2 bits of entropy per character, and
     provides very bad passphrases), and contain a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and non-alphanumeric
     characters.  The passphrase can be changed later by using the -p option.

     There is no way to recover a lost passphrase.  If the passphrase is lost or forgotten, a new key must be gener-
     ated and copied to the corresponding public key to other machines.

     For RSA1 keys, there is also a comment field in the key file that is only for convenience to the user to help
     identify the key.  The comment can tell what the key is for, or whatever is useful.  The comment is initialized
     to "user@host" when the key is created, but can be changed using the -c option.

     After a key is generated, instructions below detail where the keys should be placed to be activated.

     The options are as follows:

     -a trials
             Specifies the number of primality tests to perform when screening DH-GEX candidates using the -T command.

     -B      Show the bubblebabble digest of specified private or public key file.

     -b bits
             Specifies the number of bits in the key to create.  For RSA keys, the minimum size is 768 bits and the
             default is 2048 bits.  Generally, 2048 bits is considered sufficient.  DSA keys must be exactly 1024 bits
             as specified by FIPS 186-2.

     -C comment
             Provides a new comment.

     -c      Requests changing the comment in the private and public key files.  This operation is only supported for
             RSA1 keys.  The program will prompt for the file containing the private keys, for the passphrase if the
             key has one, and for the new comment.

     -D pkcs11
             Download the RSA public keys stored in the pkcs11 provider.

     -e      This option will read a private or public OpenSSH key file and print the key in RFC 4716 SSH Public Key
             File Format to stdout.  This option allows exporting keys for use by several commercial SSH implementa-
             tions.

     -F hostname
             Search for the specified hostname in a known_hosts file, listing any occurrences found.  This option is
             useful to find hashed host names or addresses and may also be used in conjunction with the -H option to
             print found keys in a hashed format.

     -f filename
             Specifies the filename of the key file.

     -G output_file
             Generate candidate primes for DH-GEX.  These primes must be screened for safety (using the -T option)
             before use.

     -g      Use generic DNS format when printing fingerprint resource records using the -r command.

     -H      Hash a known_hosts file.  This replaces all hostnames and addresses with hashed representations within
             the specified file; the original content is moved to a file with a .old suffix.  These hashes may be used
             normally by ssh and sshd, but they do not reveal identifying information should the file's contents be
             disclosed.  This option will not modify existing hashed hostnames and is therefore safe to use on files
             that mix hashed and non-hashed names.

     -h      When signing a key, create a host certificate instead of a user certificate.  Please see the CERTIFICATES
             section for details.

     -I      Specify the key identity when signing a public key.  Please see the CERTIFICATES section for details.

     -i      This option will read an unencrypted private (or public) key file in SSH2-compatible format and print an
             OpenSSH compatible private (or public) key to stdout.  ssh-keygen also reads the RFC 4716 SSH Public Key
             File Format.  This option allows importing keys from several commercial SSH implementations.

     -L      Prints the contents of a certificate.

     -l      Show fingerprint of specified public key file.  Private RSA1 keys are also supported.  For RSA and DSA
             keys ssh-keygen tries to find the matching public key file and prints its fingerprint.  If combined with
             -v, an ASCII art representation of the key is supplied with the fingerprint.

     -M memory
             Specify the amount of memory to use (in megabytes) when generating candidate moduli for DH-GEX.

     -n      Extract the public key from smartcard.

     -N new_passphrase
             Provides the new passphrase.

     -Z principals
             Specify one or more principals (user or host names) to be included in a certificate when signing a key.
             Multiple principals may be specified, separated by commas.  Please see the CERTIFICATES section for
             details.

     -O option
             Specify a certificate option when signing a key.  This option may be specified multiple times.  Please
             see the CERTIFICATES section for details.  The options that are valid for user certificates are:

             no-x11-forwarding
                     Disable X11 forwarding. (permitted by default)

             no-agent-forwarding
                     Disable ssh-agent(1) forwarding. (permitted by default)

             no-port-forwarding
                     Disable port forwarding. (permitted by default)

             no-pty  Disable PTY allocation. (permitted by default)

             no-user-rc
                     Disable execution of ~/.ssh/rc by sshd(8).  (permitted by default)

             clear   Clear all enabled permissions.  This is useful for clearing the default set of permissions so
                     permissions may be added individually.

             permit-x11-forwarding
                     Allows X11 forwarding.

             permit-agent-forwarding
                     Allows ssh-agent(1) forwarding.

             permit-port-forwarding
                     Allows port forwarding.

             permit-pty
                     Allows PTY allocation.

             permit-user-rc
                     Allows execution of ~/.ssh/rc by sshd(8).

             force-command=command
                     Forces the execution of command instead of any shell or command specified by the user when the
                     certificate is used for authentication.

             source-address=address_list
                     Restrict the source addresses from which the certificate is considered valid from.  The
                     address_list is a comma-separated list of one or more address/netmask pairs in CIDR format.

             At present, no options are valid for host keys.

     -P passphrase
             Provides the (old) passphrase.

     -p      Requests changing the passphrase of a private key file instead of creating a new private key.  The pro-
             gram will prompt for the file containing the private key, for the old passphrase, and twice for the new
             passphrase.

     -q      Silence ssh-keygen.  Used by /etc/rc when creating a new key.

     -R hostname
             Removes all keys belonging to hostname from a known_hosts file.  This option is useful to delete hashed
             hosts (see the -H option above).

     -r hostname
             Print the SSHFP fingerprint resource record named hostname for the specified public key file.

     -S start
             Specify start point (in hex) when generating candidate moduli for DH-GEX.

     -s ca_key
             Certify (sign) a public key using the specified CA key.  Please see the CERTIFICATES section for details.

     -T output_file
             Test DH group exchange candidate primes (generated using the -G option) for safety.

     -t type
             Specifies the type of key to create.  The possible values are "rsa1" for protocol version 1 and "dsa",
             "ecdsa" or "rsa" for protocol version 2.

     -V validity_interval
             Specify a validity interval when signing a certificate.  A validity interval may consist of a single
             time, indicating that the certificate is valid beginning now and expiring at that time, or may consist of
             two times separated by a colon to indicate an explicit time interval.  The start time may be specified as
             a date in YYYYMMDD format, a time in YYYYMMDDHHMMSS format or a relative time (to the current time) con-
             sisting of a minus sign followed by a relative time in the format described in the TIME FORMATS section
             of ssh_config(5).  The end time may be specified as a YYYYMMDD date, a YYYYMMDDHHMMSS time or a relative
             time starting with a plus character.

             For example: "+52w1d" (valid from now to 52 weeks and one day from now), "-4w:+4w" (valid from four weeks
             ago to four weeks from now), "20100101123000:20110101123000" (valid from 12:30 PM, January 1st, 2010 to
             12:30 PM, January 1st, 2011), "-1d:20110101" (valid from yesterday to midnight, January 1st, 2011).

     -v      Verbose mode.  Causes ssh-keygen to print debugging messages about its progress.  This is helpful for
             debugging moduli generation.  Multiple -v options increase the verbosity.  The maximum is 3.

     -W generator
             Specify desired generator when testing candidate moduli for DH-GEX.

     -y      This option will read a private OpenSSH format file and print an OpenSSH public key to stdout.

     -z serial_number
             Specifies a serial number to be embedded in the certificate to distinguish this certificate from others
             from the same CA.  The default serial number is zero.

MODULI GENERATION
     ssh-keygen may be used to generate groups for the Diffie-Hellman Group Exchange (DH-GEX) protocol.  Generating
     these groups is a two-step process: first, candidate primes are generated using a fast, but memory intensive pro-
     cess.  These candidate primes are then tested for suitability (a CPU-intensive process).

     Generation of primes is performed using the -G option.  The desired length of the primes may be specified by the
     -b option.  For example:

           # ssh-keygen -G moduli-2048.candidates -b 2048

     By default, the search for primes begins at a random point in the desired length range.  This may be overridden
     using the -S option, which specifies a different start point (in hex).

     Once a set of candidates have been generated, they must be tested for suitability.  This may be performed using
     the -T option.  In this mode ssh-keygen will read candidates from standard input (or a file specified using the
     -f option).  For example:

           # ssh-keygen -T moduli-2048 -f moduli-2048.candidates

     By default, each candidate will be subjected to 100 primality tests.  This may be overridden using the -a option.
     The DH generator value will be chosen automatically for the prime under consideration.  If a specific generator
     is desired, it may be requested using the -W option.  Valid generator values are 2, 3, and 5.

     Screened DH groups may be installed in /etc/ssh/moduli.  It is important that this file contains moduli of a
     range of bit lengths and that both ends of a connection share common moduli.

CERTIFICATES
     ssh-keygen supports signing of keys to produce certificates that may be used for user or host authentication.
     Certificates consist of a public key, some identity information, zero or more principal (user or host) names and
     a set of options that are signed by a Certification Authority (CA) key.  Clients or servers may then trust only
     the CA key and verify its signature on a certificate rather than trusting many user/host keys.  Note that OpenSSH
     certificates are a different, and much simpler, format to the X.509 certificates used in ssl(8).

     ssh-keygen supports two types of certificates: user and host.  User certificates authenticate users to servers,
     whereas host certificates authenticate server hosts to users. To generate a user certificate:

           $ ssh-keygen -s /path/to/ca_key -I key_id /path/to/user_key.pub

     The resultant certificate will be placed in /path/to/user_key-cert.pub.  A host certificate requires the -h
     option:

           $ ssh-keygen -s /path/to/ca_key -I key_id -h /path/to/host_key.pub

     The host certificate will be output to /path/to/host_key-cert.pub.  In both cases, key_id is a "key identifier"
     that is logged by the server when the certificate is used for authentication.

     Certificates may be limited to be valid for a set of principal (user/host) names.  By default, generated certifi-
     cates are valid for all users or hosts.  To generate a certificate for a specified set of principals:

           $ ssh-keygen -s ca_key -I key_id -Z user1,user2 user_key.pub
           $ ssh-keygen -s ca_key -I key_id -h -Z host.domain user_key.pub

     Additional limitations on the validity and use of user certificates may be specified through certificate options.
     A certificate option may disable features of the SSH session, may be valid only when presented from particular
     source addresses or may force the use of a specific command.  For a list of valid certificate options, see the
     documentation for the -O option above.

     Finally, certificates may be defined with a validity lifetime.  The -V option allows specification of certificate
     start and end times.  A certificate that is presented at a time outside this range will not be considered valid.
     By default, certificates have a maximum validity interval.

     For certificates to be used for user or host authentication, the CA public key must be trusted by sshd(8) or
     ssh(1).  Please refer to those manual pages for details.

FILES
     ~/.ssh/identity
             Contains the protocol version 1 RSA authentication identity of the user.  This file should not be read-
             able by anyone but the user.  It is possible to specify a passphrase when generating the key; that
             passphrase will be used to encrypt the private part of this file using 3DES.  This file is not automati-
             cally accessed by ssh-keygen but it is offered as the default file for the private key.  ssh(1) will read
             this file when a login attempt is made.
     ~/.ssh/identity.pub
             Contains the protocol version 1 RSA public key for authentication.  The contents of this file should be
             added to ~/.ssh/authorized_keys on all machines where the user wishes to log in using RSA authentication.
             There is no need to keep the contents of this file secret.

     ~/.ssh/id_dsa
     ~/.ssh/id_ecdsa
     ~/.ssh/id_rsa
             Contains the protocol version 2 DSA, ECDSA or RSA authentication identity of the user.  This file should
             not be readable by anyone but the user.  It is possible to specify a passphrase when generating the key;
             that passphrase will be used to encrypt the private part of this file using 3DES.  This file is not auto-
             matically accessed by ssh-keygen but it is offered as the default file for the private key.  ssh(1) will
             read this file when a login attempt is made.

     ~/.ssh/id_dsa.pub
     ~/.ssh/id_ecdsa.pub
     ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub
             Contains the protocol version 2 DSA, ECDSA or RSA public key for authentication.  The contents of this
             file should be added to ~/.ssh/authorized_keys on all machines where the user wishes to log in using pub-
             lic key authentication.  There is no need to keep the contents of this file secret.

     /etc/ssh/moduli
             Contains Diffie-Hellman groups used for DH-GEX.  The file format is described in moduli(5).

ENVIRONMENT
     SSH_USE_STRONG_RNG
             The reseeding of the OpenSSL random generator is usually done from /dev/urandom.  If the
             SSH_USE_STRONG_RNG environment variable is set to value other than 0 the OpenSSL random generator is
             reseeded from /dev/random.  The number of bytes read is defined by the SSH_USE_STRONG_RNG value.  Minimum
             is 14 bytes.  This setting is not recommended on the computers without the hardware random generator
             because insufficient entropy causes the connection to be blocked until enough entropy is available.

SEE ALSO
     ssh(1), ssh-add(1), ssh-agent(1), moduli(5), sshd(8)

     The Secure Shell (SSH) Public Key File Format, RFC 4716, 2006.

AUTHORS
     OpenSSH is a derivative of the original and free ssh 1.2.12 release by Tatu Ylonen.  Aaron Campbell, Bob Beck,
     Markus Friedl, Niels Provos, Theo de Raadt and Dug Song removed many bugs, re-added newer features and created
     OpenSSH.  Markus Friedl contributed the support for SSH protocol versions 1.5 and 2.0.

BSD                            November 24, 2017                           BSD