SSH login without password (key pair authentication)

Passwordless login via SSH is especially useful in automated backup scripts.

In this tutorial Host A refers to the computer from which (source) you want to login, and Host B refers to the computer to which (destination) you want to login without a password.

Step 1 – Generate a key pair on Host A


Press ENTER for the three questions you are prompted with

Step 2 – Copy Host A's public key to Host B

The following command must be run on Host A:

ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/ username@hostb

You will then be prompted with the password for username@hostb – enter this once and never again ? This command copies the public key generated in Step 1 to the authorized_keys file on Host B thus allowing login without a password.