How to upload an SSH key via the web UI

DreamCompute utilizes ssh keys for accessing your instances, instead of using passwords alone. This is done for increased security and simplifies managing users for OpenStack (the public key is injected into the instance at boot). This prevents needing to modify files or passwords on the operating system on startup.

SSH keypairs are managed on the Access & Security -> Keypairs section of the dashboard.

SSH Key Components

There are two parts to an SSH key: a private key and a public key. The private key is known only to you and should be safeguarded. On UNIX-based systems such as Mac and Linux, the private key is generally stored in:


The public key can be shared with any server that you would like ssh access to. Similarly, the public key will be stored in:


SSH keys generated on Windows systems using the PuTTY key generator (puttygen.exe) are not stored in a uniform location, but instead where the user chooses to save them.

Create a new SSH key

via the DreamCompute dashboard

The easiest way to generate a key is to have DreamCompute generate one for you. You can do this by going to the DreamCompute dashboard, Access & Security -> Keypairs. On the top right, click the “Create Keypair” button, give the key a name, and click “Create Keypair”. Your browser will start downloading the private key named the same as they name given with a .pem file extension. Save this file for later user as your id_rsa private key file.

via puttygen.exe

This program can be downloaded from the PuTTY website. After running the program, click on the “generate” button, and follow the instructions to generate random data. When complete, you can click the “save private key” button to save the .ppk (PuTTY Private Key File) file for use with PuTTY later. The text at the top labeled “Public key for pasting into OpenSSH authorized_keys file” can be copy/pasted into a text file for importing into the DreamCompute dashboard and other future uses. The “save public key” button saves a modified version of the public key that won’t directly import into the DreamCompute dashboard. Save these files in a safe location. The final step is to continue to the Import an Existing section to import the key into DreamCompute.

Here is an example of the puttygen.exe program:


via ssh-keygen

This program can be found on Mac, Linux and other unix-based operating systems.

When run:

STEP 1: Enter a file name to save private key to (hit enter for the recommended default that you see in parenthesis).

STEP 2: Enter a password (recommended). You can press enter twice to not have a password.

The output looks like this:

[user@localhost]$ ssh-keygen -t rsa
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/home/myuser/.ssh/id_rsa):
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:
Your identification has been saved in /home/myuser/.ssh/id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /home/myuser/.ssh/
The key fingerprint is:
66:d9:a4:f0:8d:0b:72:93:b8:67:2e:af:f6:91:ce:e3 myuser@mycomputer
The key's randomart image is:
+--[ RSA 2048]----+
|                 |
|                 |
|      .   .      |
|     . + B       |
|    o = S o      |
|     + * .       |
|    . = .        |
|    o*..         |
|   ..*E.         |

The final step is to continue to the Import an Existing SSH Key section to import the key into DreamCompute.

Checking For An Existing Key

For a Windows system, there isn’t an easy way to find where keys were generated or stored. A private key generated from puttygen.exe is saved with the .ppk file extension, but the other files it generates has no default extension. You could search your system for .ppk files and perhaps find your public key in the same location.

On Mac and Linux systems, you can check in the above described location:

[user@localhost]$ ls ~/.ssh/id_rsa*
/home/myuser/.ssh/id_rsa  /home/myuser/.ssh/

Import an Existing SSH key into the Dashboard

Find the public key file, and open it to copy its contents. Next, go to the DreamCompute dashboard, go to Access & Security -> Keypairs, and click on “Import Keypair”. Give it a name and paste in the contents of your public key, then click “Import Keypair” to save it.

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Article last updated .