ssh-keygen.0   [plain text]


SSH-KEYGEN(1)              OpenBSD Reference 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 reader
     ssh-keygen -U reader [-f input_keyfile]
     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]

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 RSA or DSA keys for use by SSH protocol version 2.  The type of key
     to be generated is specified with the -t option.

     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 RSA or DSA authentication runs
     this once to create the authentication key in $HOME/.ssh/identity,
     $HOME/.ssh/id_dsa or $HOME/.ssh/id_rsa.  Additionally, the system admin-
     istrator 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 arbitrary length.  A
     passphrase is similar to a password, except it can be a phrase with a se-
     ries of words, punctuation, numbers, whitespace, or any string of charac-
     ters you want.  Good passphrases are 10-30 characters long, are not sim-
     ple 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-alphanu-
     meric 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 generated 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 initial-
     ized 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 bits
             Specifies the number of bits in the key to create.  Minimum is
             512 bits.  Generally, 1024 bits is considered sufficient.  The
             default is 1024 bits.

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

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

     -g      Use generic DNS resource record format.

     -f filename
             Specifies the filename of the key file.

     -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 `SECSH
             Public Key File Format'.  This option allows importing keys from
             several commercial SSH implementations.

     -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.

     -p      Requests changing the passphrase of a private key file instead of
             creating a new private key.  The program 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.

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

     -t type
             Specifies the type of the key to create.  The possible values are
             ``rsa1'' for protocol version 1 and ``rsa'' or ``dsa'' for proto-
             col version 2.

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

     -C comment
             Provides the new comment.

     -D reader
             Download the RSA public key stored in the smartcard in reader.

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

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

     -N new_passphrase
             Provides the new passphrase.

     -P passphrase
             Provides the (old) passphrase.

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

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

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

     -U reader
             Upload an existing RSA private key into the smartcard in reader.

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

     -r hostname
             Print DNS resource record with the specified hostname.

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 pro-
     cess: first, candidate primes are generated using a fast, but memory in-
     tensive process.  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 speci-
     fies 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/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.

FILES
     $HOME/.ssh/identity
             Contains the protocol version 1 RSA authentication identity of
             the user.  This file should not be readable by anyone but the us-
             er.  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 automatically 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.

     $HOME/.ssh/identity.pub
             Contains the protocol version 1 RSA public key for authentica-
             tion.  The contents of this file should be added to
             $HOME/.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.

     $HOME/.ssh/id_dsa
             Contains the protocol version 2 DSA authentication identity of
             the user.  This file should not be readable by anyone but the us-
             er.  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 automatically 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.

     $HOME/.ssh/id_dsa.pub
             Contains the protocol version 2 DSA public key for authentica-
             tion.  The contents of this file should be added to
             $HOME/.ssh/authorized_keys on all machines where the user wishes
             to log in using public key authentication.  There is no need to
             keep the contents of this file secret.

     $HOME/.ssh/id_rsa
             Contains the protocol version 2 RSA authentication identity of
             the user.  This file should not be readable by anyone but the us-
             er.  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 automatically 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.

     $HOME/.ssh/id_rsa.pub
             Contains the protocol version 2 RSA public key for authentica-
             tion.  The contents of this file should be added to
             $HOME/.ssh/authorized_keys on all machines where the user wishes
             to log in using public key authentication.  There is no need to
             keep the contents of this file secret.

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

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

     J. Galbraith and R. Thayer, SECSH Public Key File Format, draft-ietf-
     secsh-publickeyfile-01.txt, March 2001, work in progress material.

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.

OpenBSD 3.5                   September 25, 1999                             4