Date Tags ssh


  • Checking a public-key fingerprint on Linux/Mac OSX:
ssh-keygen -lf <public key file>
  • Checking a public-key fingerprint on macOS:
ssh-keygen -E md5 -lf <public key file>

The problem

Sometimes I’ve found myself in the need of checking out if a public key I gave to some site (usually Github, Bitbucket and the likes) is the same one I already have in my machine.

Turns out that usually only the public-key fingerprint is given, not its whole content, and so it get complicated to verify if I still have that key or if I should delete it from the service.

The solution

Usually the fingerprints are given using a MD5 hash of the file. We can check public-key fingerprints by using ssh-keygen:

ssh-keygen -lf <public key file>

This will work on Linux and Mac OSX. Nevertheless, If you happen to be using the new macOS Sierra, then you need to issue this command instead:

ssh-keygen -E md5 -lf <public key file>

Both commands will give you an output like this:

easydevmixin@easydevmixin.local $ ssh-keygen -lf
2048 MD5:c3:b0:8f:60:70:b4:dc:6c:28:61:12:b9:fb:e8:49:f3 easydevmixin@easydevmixin.local (RSA)

With that output it is straightforward knowing if the key you used in a service still is in your machine.

And for those of you who have arrived here, this is a goodie script that will print all your public-key fingerprints on screen:

for file in *.pub
    echo $file
    ssh-keygen -lf $file

Happy fingerprinting!