We normally log in to a remote SSH server using password authentication method. Username and password combination is the most common authentication method for SSH and is a good enough method for most people. Sometimes, you might want to automatically log in to an SSH server without entering your username and password.
Passwordless SSH login could be convenient for some, but it is vitally important for those doing automation work. A script could be configured to automatically run commands on a remote server or transfer files using scp command.
Related: How to copy file remotely via SSH
You can automatically log in to an SSH server without entering your username and password using the public-key authentication method.
$ ssh-keygen Generating public/private rsa key pair. Enter file in which to save the key (/home/user/.ssh/id_rsa): Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): Enter same passphrase again: Your identification has been saved in /home/user/.ssh/id_rsa. Your public key has been saved in /home/user/.ssh/id_rsa.pub. ##### snipped
Make sure to not set any passphrase for the key pair
Related: How to generate SSH key pair
$ sudo grep PubkeyAuthentication /etc/ssh/sshd_config [sudo] password for user: PubkeyAuthentication yes
Public key authentication is normally enabled by default.
$ ssh-copy-id user@remote-host /usr/bin/ssh-copy-id: INFO: attempting to log in with the new key(s), to filter out any that are already installed /usr/bin/ssh-copy-id: INFO: 2 key(s) remain to be installed -- if you are prompted now it is to install the new keys user@remote-host's password: Number of key(s) added: 2 Now try logging into the machine, with: "ssh 'user@remote-host'" and check to make sure that only the key(s) you wanted were added.
Related: How to add SSH public key to server
$ ssh user@remote-host Last login: Fri Jun 28 00:12:15 2019 from 192.168.111.135 [user@remote-host ~]$
You will no longer be prompted for a password when logging in to the server.
|Red Hat Enterprise Linux|
|SUSE Linux Enterprise Server|
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