Aug 22, 2013

install ssh-copy-id on Mac OS X best way

You often need to create identities for unknown/new servers. Then welcome to this article. I believe i have a best practice way of doing it on a MAC system.
First of all you need your identity file:

1. Generating ssh keys set

You need to use tool that any unix system usually has. It's ssh-keygen. (Skip if you have it already)
Last login: Wed Aug 21 16:07:34 on ttys002
console@username:~$ ssh-keygen -t rsa
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/Users/username/.ssh/id_rsa): yourkeyname
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): 
Enter same passphrase again: 
Your identification has been saved in yourkeyname.
Your public key has been saved in
The key fingerprint is:
XX.XX.XX.XX.XX.XX.XX.XX.XX.XX.XX.XX. console@username
The key's randomart image is:
+--[ RSA 2048]----+
|    +             |
|   +              |
|         +        |
| +                |
|     +            |
|   . +            |
|  . +             |
|   . ...........+ |
|    . .+....      |
Note this command input/output. You need to call command ssh-keygen -t rsa and generate a key on your computer. You could do it in some other way, for e.g. on a server. In this example we create 2 SSH keys. They both have yourkeyname in it's body. Except for one is public and called And you may share your public key, but never share your private. But it;s about simplifying install not cheap talks.
Let's copy your public key to server after you have your suitable key pair.

2. Copy to ssh public key to server

This step is not required and you could easily skip it. However it may already be done at your MAC.
Now let's copy your key with extension .pub to remote server. You could do it manually, but in case of this happening too often it may turn you nuts to type in those letters.
Github user  beautifulcode created a nice script to make your MAC OS X behave like linux in this occasion. I have forked it just in case and gonna use mine forked version farther. However all the credentials belong to author ;).
Ok. For all this to work you need to actually type in 2 commands into console:
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/ssh-copy-id
This will download a script body from a github server (my fork) and change it's credentials to execution mode.

Now this is done and you can use your linux-like command style in MAC OS X. It may look like this.
ssh-copy-id -i username@remoteservername
This will ask for password to your remote ssh server and user: username in our case.
3. Create an alias for your server
It's a long time to type in ssh and you can shorten this to ssh srv for e.g. For this you need to create the alias in your ssh keys config.
To make it you need to enter your ~/.ssh directory and edit/create file called config. So type in something like:
console@username:~$ vi ~/.ssh/config
And edit it somehow like so:
# Add this to file
Host srv
                Hostname servername_or_ip
                User username
                IdentityFile ~/.ssh/yourkeyname
Save it (:wq if you use vim). And I recommend using the text editor of your choice, instead.
Now you have to only type ssh srv and here is your remote shell. But please keep in mind responsibility that lies on your shoulders with this. Intruder having your computer receives all the access you would have.


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