GeneratingSSH Keys

Westrongly recommend using an SSH connection when interacting with GitHub. SSHkeys are a way to identify trusted computers, without involving passwords. Thesteps below will walk you through generating an SSH key and then adding thepublic key to your GitHub account.

Tip: Werecommend that you regularly reviewyour SSH keys list and revoke any that haven'tbeen used in a while.

Step 1:Check for SSH keys

First, weneed to check for existing SSH keys on your computer. Open up the command line

ls -al~/.ssh
# Liststhe files in your .ssh directory, if they exist

Check thedirectory listing to see if you have files named either or If youdon't have either of those files, go to step 2. Otherwise,skip to step 3.

Step 2:Generate a new SSH key

Togenerate a new SSH key, copy and paste the text below, making sure tosubstitute in your email address. The default settings are preferred, so whenyou're prompted to "Enter a file in which to save the key", justpress Enter

ssh-keygen-t rsa -C ""
# Createsa new ssh key using the provided email
#Generating public/private rsa key pair.
# Enterfile in which to save the key (/your_home_path/.ssh/id_rsa):

Next,you'll be asked to enter a passphrase.

Tip: Westrongly recommend a very good, secure passphrase. For more information,see Workingwith SSH key passphrases.

# Enterpassphrase (empty for no passphrase): [Type apassphrase]
# Entersame passphrase again:  [Type passphrase again]

Whichshould give you something like this:

# Youridentification has been saved in /your_home_path/.ssh/id_rsa.
# Yourpublic key has been saved in /your_home_path/.ssh/
# The keyfingerprint is:

Then addyour new key to the ssh-agent:

# startthe ssh-agent in the background

eval"$(ssh-agent -s)"

# Agentpid 59566


Step 3:Add your SSH key to GitHub

Openthe ~/.ssh/


Now thatyou have the key copied, it's time to add it into GitHub:

1.     In the user bar in the top-rightcorner of any page, click Account settings.

2.     Click SSHKeys in the left sidebar.

3.     Click Add SSH key.

4.     In the Title field, add a descriptivelabel for the new key. For example, if you're using a personal Mac, you mightcall this key "Personal MacBook Air".

5.     Paste your key into the"Key" field.

6.     Click Add key.

7.     Confirm the action by enteringyour GitHub password.

Step 4:Test everything out

To makesure everything is working, you'll now try SSHing to GitHub. When you do this,you will be asked to authenticate this action using your password, which wasthe passphrase you created earlier.

Openup the command line

ssh -T

# Attemptsto ssh to github

You maysee this warning:

# Theauthenticity of host ' (' can't be established.
# RSA keyfingerprint is 16:27:ac:a5:76:28:2d:36:63:1b:56:4d:eb:df:a6:48.
# Are yousure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?

Don'tworry! This is supposed to happen. Verify that the fingerprint in your terminalmatches the one we've provided up above, and then type "yes."

# Hi username! You'vesuccessfully authenticated, but GitHub does not
# provideshell access.

If thatusername is yours, you've successfully set up your SSH key! Don't worry aboutthe "shell access" thing, you don't want that anyway.

If youreceive a message about "access denied," you can read theseinstructions for diagnosing the issue.

If you'reswitching from HTTPS to SSH, you'll now need to update your remote repositoryURLs. For more information, see Changing aremote's URL.

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