Authenticate with SSH keys

To connect to your app using SSH keys, you need two keys:

  • A private key you must keep secret
  • A public key stored in your account

A given SSH key pair can only be linked to a single user account.

A key pair is valid for as long as you have access to the private key on the system from which you are connecting. If you have a key pair available, you aren’t prompted to login.

To keep connection secure, you need to regularly update the keys you use. A well-encrypted key is no substitute for regular key rotation.

If you used GitHub to sign up for your account your public keys from GitHub are automatically synced to your account. So you can use them already with the CLI or to connect to your app.

Add SSH keys 

If you don’t have keys already added, you might be able to find existing keys or else you need to generate new keys.

1A. Find your keys 

You may have already generated SSH keys before. Tech Republic has a guide to finding keys on different systems.

If you haven’t used SSH keys before or it’s been a while since you created the key, skip right to generating new keys.

A public key file has a name ending in .pub. It contains seemingly random lines of characters, like this example of a public RSA key (note the email address at the end, which wouldn’t be present in a private key):

ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAADAQABAAABAQC2nDRLgPANWParTiaGIgySG+thTtnqFGI1tMWyqDdfvH+5hL91w2tK9PzaP+NJ5hA/cOyh30YRFb52Y64toU16Ko5K1mLqNFJajjWEI5Y4VukG6betrWfqdQ7XBr/s7nBuDOFQ5+eKbvug4rRSCSo8CsEI1eI0VNQkC9HJWYK28k7KurMdTN7X/Z/4vknM4/Rm2bnMk2idoORQgomeZS1p3GkG8dQs/c0j/b4H7azxnqdcCaR4ahbytX3d49BN0WwE84C+ItsnkCt1g5tVADPrab+Ywsm/FTnGY3cJKKdOAHt7Ls5lfpyyug2hNAFeiZF0MoCekjDZ2GH2xdFc7AX/

To find your public key file:

  1. Open a terminal.

  2. Run the following commands:

    cd ~/.ssh
    ls -a

If you find a file ending in .pub, copy the location and add it to your account.

If you don’t find an existing key, generate new keys.

1B. Generate new keys 

If you’re logged in using the CLI, generate a key and have it added to your account automatically.

  1. In a terminal, run platform ssh-key:add.

  2. If necessary, log in to a browser.

  3. Press Y and enter to create a new SSH key.

  4. Copy the location of the generated key.

  5. Run the following commands (replacing <PATH_TO_YOUR_KEY> with the location you copied):

    eval $(ssh-agent)
    ssh-add '<PATH_TO_YOUR_KEY>'

To generate a key otherwise, GitHub has a good walk-through for creating SSH key pairs on various operating systems.

Then you need to add it to your account.

2. Add an SSH key to your Platform account 

Once you have the location of your public key, add it to your account.

If you’re logged in using the CLI, in a terminal run the following command (replacing <PATH_TO_YOUR_KEY> with the location of your public key):

platform ssh-key:add '<PATH_TO_YOUR_KEY>'

You can also add it in the Console, similar to this video.

Now you are ready to use the key to connect to an environment.

3. Connect to your server with SSH keys 

To connect to a server using SSH keys, find the details in the Console:

  1. Open the Console.
  2. Select a project.
  3. In the Environment dropdown, select the environment you want to access.
  4. Click the SSH dropdown.
  5. Copy the ssh command for where you want access. (Example: ssh
  6. Enter the command into a terminal.

Note that if you have just added your SSH key, you need to redeploy your environment before you can access it using SSH keys.

Forwarding keys by default 

It may be helpful to set your SSH client to always forward keys to servers, which can simplify other SSH or rsync commands. To do so, include a block in your local ~/.ssh/config file like so:

Host *
       ForwardAgent yes
Host *
       ForwardAgent yes

Include one Host entry for each region you want to connect to, such as us-2 or eu-4. (You can include other configuration as desired.)