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Create an SSH Key


To create an SSH Key that you can use in Deployments that you setup. 

Table of Contents


  • For Servers launched with v4 RightImages, you must use an SSH Key with private key material in order to run scripts on the Server and open SSH console sessions.   If the private key material is missing, the Server will strand in booting and you will not be able to open an SSH console session from the RightScale Dashboard.
  • For Servers launched with v5 RightImages, the SSH Key is not required to run scripts on the Server or open an SSH console session from within the Dashboard.  However, if you want to SSH into the instance using a 3rd party SSH client (outside of the Dashboard) you will need to provide  the private key material.
  • Amazon SSH keys are EC2 region-specific.  You cannot use an SSH key that you created in AWS US-East for an instance in a different region like AWS EU.  This tutorial assumes you are creating an SSH key for AWS US-East.  (Functionally, creating SSH keys for other AWS regions is the same.)


Before you can launch your Deployment, you first need to create an EC2 SSH Key.  SSH Keys and Security Groups are required components in order to launch an EC2 instance.  It's strongly recommended that you only create SSH Keys from the RightScale Dashboard so that RightScale can capture and store the matching private key material.  If you've created SSH Keys outside of the Dashboard, you will see them in your list of SSH Keys and you will be able to select and use them, but you will encounter problems if the private key material is missing.  In such cases, you can edit and enter the missing private key information.

The SSH key is passed into the new instance to allow root login access to your instance via SSH. Typically you'll find it inserted into /root/.ssh/authorized_keys after the instance is launched.  If you launch an instance with an SSH Key pair that was not created through RightScale, then many of our convenient features (bundling, backups, automation, etc.) will not be available to you.  Without knowing the contents of the SSH Keys, RightScale will not be able to access your instance to perform such tasks.  It's important to use an SSH key that has key material.


Create a new SSH Key

  1. Go to Clouds > [your cloud region] > EC2 SSH Keys. Click New
  2. Name the key pair "production" and click Create.



  1. Copy this key locally to SSH into your instance.


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Last modified
21:02, 16 May 2013



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