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Home > Guides > Dashboard Users Guide > Settings > User > Actions > Manage an SSH Key Pair

Manage an SSH Key Pair


To download and store a private SSH key to a user's machine. This is beneficial for users who are required to manage their own key pairs.


Table of Contents


  • 'server_login' and 'server_superuser' if you are running RightImage 5.7 and lower (both roles will need to be enabled to be able to SSH into a server). If you are running 5.8 or newer, you will either need 'server_login' (which allows you to login as the user of the account without root access) or 'server_superuser' (which allows you to login as root to the server. For more information, see RightScale Account and User Management
  • An understanding of Server Login Control


By default, RightScale manages the SSH key pairs for all users in an account. This does not have to be the case. A user can manage their own SSH key pair if they would like or, under some circumstances, can be required to (an account manager can mandate that all users manage their own key pairs; see Enable Mandatory Server Login Control for more information).

To manage your own SSH key pair, follow the steps below.


Manage your own SSH Key

  • Go to Settings > User Settings > SSH and click Edit.



  • You have the option to select how you would like to SSH into your server:
    • Download a Java Web Start Application: Uses a Java Web Start application to launch an SSH session. Requires Java 1.7 or later.
    • Run a Java Applet: Uses a standard Java Applet to launch an SSH session. Requires a compatible browser.
    • Generate ssh:// Protocol Links: For advanced users who do not want to use Java to launch an SSH session. May require additional browser configuration for proper operation.

Note: You may experience issues with Java depending on the browser you are using (for example, Chrome does not support version 7 of Java for Macs). For additional information, see Which Browsers are Supported by RightScale.

  • In the Authentication section, you are given the option to choose how you would like your user-specific, SSH credentials to be managed. Yiou can have RightScale manage your credentials or you can choose to have your credentials stored on your computer.
    • Manage my credentials for me (default) - When you first set up your user account with RightScale, an SSH keypair is automatically generated for you. When you SSH into an instance, your Managed SSH Key will be used for authentication purposes (even if you launched the server with a cloud-specific SSH key (e.g. EC2 SSH Key).
    • Use the credentials stored on my computer - Select this option if you want to use your own SSH keypair instead of the one that RightScale created for you. For example, some company's may not allow you to use an SSH Key that was generated by someone other than yourself. If you choose this option, you must make your public and private key material accessible for use by the RightScale platform by uploading your public key and providing the relative location of the private key. Therefore, if you use more than one device (e.g. laptop, smartphone, etc.) to SSH into a running server, be sure to place the private key in the same location on each device. Note: If you want switch back to having RightScale manage your credentials, you can just click Manage my credentials for me however, RightScale will generate a new SSH keypair for you; your previous key will not be reused. Note: If the "Mandatory Server Login Control" option is 'enabled' on a RightScale account, users with 'server_login' access will be required to use their own credentials.
      • Public Key - Copy and paste the contents of the public key in the text field. 
      • Private Key - Specify the location where the private key can be found (on the device that you're using to create an SSH session into running servers) relative to the home directory.
        • Windows Example: If the private key ('my-key') is located in this directory, C:\Users\<my-user-name>\ssh\ on your Windows machine, you would enter \ssh\my-key in the Private Key field. 

Note: For Account Managers who need to keep track of multiple users of an account, when a user pastes in their own public key, RightScale will  automatically add the user's email to the end of the public key (i.e. [Public SSH Key] This makes it easier to identify the public keys of multiple users in an account.




  • When the information has been entered, click Save.

Download and Store your Private User SSH Key

Once you generate your new Public Key, you will need to download and save your Private Key to your machine so you can properly SSH into a server. You will need this private key on every machine that is going to SSH into a server on the account. After saving your Public Key, you can click Download Private Key. This link is below your Public Key information.


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Last modified
08:09, 14 Oct 2014


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