To access an SFTP server, an SSH public key must be created and shared with the SFTP host. To generate a public/private key pair the ssh-keygen utility in UNIX can be used. This program will calculate a key pair for you by following these steps:
(1) At the UNIX prompt, type ssh-keygen. A message will appear indicating the application is generating the public/private rsa key pair.
(2) You will next be prompted to enter the location where you want to save the key. You can specify a filename or just leave the space blank and press Enter.
(3) Afterwards you will be prompted to enter a passphrase to use as a password. Enter your passphrase here or you can opt to leave the space blank. It is acceptable to simply hit Enter to proceed without specifying a passphrase.
(4) Finally, you will be prompted to re-enter your passphrase.
That is all there is to creating a public and private key pair. To access the remote SFTP server the administrator will need you to forward a copy of your public key to set up your account. The public key will be a file with one line that includes "ssh-rsa", a long key code, followed by your account name and host name (ex: firstname.lastname@example.org). The file extension will be .pub.
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