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Sun, Oct 16, 2016 10:10 pm

Checking a server's public host key on the server

If you receive a message from a Secure Shell (SSH) or Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) application regarding the host key of the server to which you are attempting to connect being unknown or changed, such as the message from WinSCP below, you can check the server's public host key on the server itself, if it is a Linux server, using the ssh-keygen utility.

WinSCP unknown server 
host key

$ ssh-keygen -l -f /etc/ssh/
2048 96:f3:8b:03:13:06:13:4d:3c:7c:4b:fa:94:33:90:83   (RSA)

The -l option shows the fingerprint of a specified public key file. Private RSA1 keys are also supported. For RSA and DSA keys, ssh-keygen tries to find the matching public key file and prints its fingerprint. If the -l option is combined with -v, an ASCII art representation of the key is supplied with the fingerprint. The -f filename option allows you to specify the file name of the key file.

The ssh-keygen -l -f /etc/ssh/ command isn't showing the key itself, but instead shows the "fingerprint" for the key, which is a sequence of 32 hexadecimal digits. You can see the much larger key value itself by issuing the command cat /etc/ssh/

[/network/ssh] permanent link

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