Adding and removing SSH keys from an External Cloud VM

When you create a machine in a JASMIN External Cloud tenancy, the SSH key associated with your JASMIN account is uploaded to the machine to grant you access to the machine as root:

ssh -A root@<external ip>

However, this is a one-time operation when the machine is created. Updating your SSH key in the JASMIN Accounts Portal is not reflected in External Cloud VMs. Once initial access has been granted, you as the tenancy admin are responsible for all configuration of the machine, including the SSH keys allowed to access the machine. For example, you may choose to grant access to a user who does not have a JASMIN account by adding their SSH key to the machine.

IMPORTANT: When you change your SSH key in the JASMIN Accounts Portal, you must retain your old private key until you have added your new key to all External Cloud VMs that you administer. Failing to do so will result in you being locked out of those machines.

Adding and removing SSH keys

The allowed SSH keys for a user can be found in $HOME/.ssh/authorized_keys for the user. For root, this is /root/.ssh/authorized_keys.

To grant access to a user, they must first generate an SSH keypair. Once they have done this, they should give you their public key. The private key should never leave the user's machine. Once you have added this public key as a new line to the authorized_keys file for the target user on your External Cloud VM, the user will be able to SSH to the machine.

Similarly, to disable access for a user, just remove their public key from the authorized_keys file on the machine.

IMPORTANT: When replacing an old key with a new one, make sure that you add the new key before removing the old one or you may accidentally lock yourself out of your machine.

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