How to choose the key used by SSH for a specific host?

How to choose a key used rather than the default ~/.ssh/id_rsa when ssh to a remote server for a specific host?

asked May 20, 2016 by Eric Z Ma (44,280 points)

1 Answer

You have at least 2 choices for choosing the key used by ssh. Taking ~/.ssh/key1 and as the example here.

Method one, specify the key in command line with the -i option of ssh. Check more in the manual.

The command line to be used is:

ssh -i ~/.ssh/key1

Method two, use the ssh config file. This is useful when you do not have the -i option available, such as using git, rsync or lftp.

You can add to your ~/.ssh/config lines as follows.

  IdentifyFile ~/.ssh/key1

This tells ssh that for host, use the key file in ~/.ssh/key1.

answered May 20, 2016 by Eric Z Ma (44,280 points)

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