Import Public SSH Keys From GitHub

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Here’s a quick one.

Recently I needed to give one of my co-workers access to my personal Linux server. SSH felt like the easiest way to do that but I needed his public key. GitHub makes that easy.

If you take someone’s GitHub profile URL and append .keys, you will get a plain text page with their public SSH keys. At least the ones known to GitHub. We can use this feature to quickly give someone access to a server.

From the machine (and user) that you want to give access to, run this:

curl -sSL "<gh-username>.keys" >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

where <gh-user> is the person’s GitHub username. Obviously, check and then double check that you have the correct username. That’s it, they will now have access via SSH.

Note: This is a simple way to provide access to a server. Something like a personal project or some one off resource. I don’t suggest this method for something highly confidential or sensitive. There are better, more secure ways to do such a thing, especially in a business atmosphere.

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