Verdant TCS

Generate SSH Key on Mac/Linux

3 min read

As you get familiar with our platform, you might find that you would like to use SSH and customize your server or use our GPCLI (vCanopy Command Line Interface) to make adjustments to your server. We’ve locked down all SSH access to require a SSH key. This article will help you generate and push a key. All you’ll need for this is a Mac or Linux operating system.


With root access you can do anything, including delete everything. Handle with care.

Here’s a video of the process if you would prefer to watch or continue to the written guide below: 

Step 1: Launch Terminal

Click the finder magnifying glass in the top right corner, type in terminal and click on the application.

Step 2: Generate your key

When you first launch terminal, it’ll be a clear screen. Type in “ssh-keygen -t rsa”. It will then ask you where to save it, it’ll have a default path, and you can just press enter to accept the default path. Next, it will ask you about passphrase. If you put a passphrase in, your key will be encrypted, and when you connect to servers, you’ll have to answer the passphrase. Once you’re done with that, the key is generated.

Step 3: View your public key

Once the key is generated, you can do “cd .ssh” and then “ls”. You’ll see two files listed, an id_rsa file which is your private key (don’t share or upload anywhere!) and then do “cat” which is public and safe to upload to vCanopy. Select the key, and copy it to your clipboard.

Step 4: Upload to vCanopy

Click your name in the top right, and click your settings. Go to SSH Keys, and fill out the add SSH Public Key screen. Name can be whatever you would like it to be. Public key is what we copied in step 3, and then click add key:

Step 5: Push the key to your server

Click on Home in the vCanopy UI, click on the key symbol beside your server:

To add a key, select the key from Available Keys column on the left, and then use the right arrow to add it to your server:

Full details on adding and removing keys from your server can be found in this article:

Add/Remove an SSH Key to/from an Active vCanopy Server

Step 6: Connect to your server as root

Within Terminal, type “ssh root@serverip” and hit enter. You may be prompted with an “authenticity” message, and all it means is that your workstation has never connected to the server before. Just type “yes” and hit enter. After that, you should be connected to your server, and can run any GPCLI command you would like!

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