[ssh] Setting the default ssh key location

ssh will look for its keys by default in the ~/.ssh folder. I want to force it to always look in another location.

The workaround I'm using is to add the keys from the non-standard location to the agent:

ssh-agent
ssh-add /path/to/where/keys/really/are/id_rsa 

(on Linux and MingW32 shell on Windows)

This question is related to ssh

The answer is


If you are only looking to point to a different location for you identity file, the you can modify your ~/.ssh/config file with the following entry:

IdentityFile ~/.foo/identity

man ssh_config to find other config options.


man ssh gives me this options would could be useful.

-i identity_file Selects a file from which the identity (private key) for RSA or DSA authentication is read. The default is ~/.ssh/identity for protocol version 1, and ~/.ssh/id_rsa and ~/.ssh/id_dsa for pro- tocol version 2. Identity files may also be specified on a per- host basis in the configuration file. It is possible to have multiple -i options (and multiple identities specified in config- uration files).

So you could create an alias in your bash config with something like

alias ssh="ssh -i /path/to/private_key"

I haven't looked into a ssh configuration file, but like the -i option this too could be aliased

-F configfile Specifies an alternative per-user configuration file. If a configuration file is given on the command line, the system-wide configuration file (/etc/ssh/ssh_config) will be ignored. The default for the per-user configuration file is ~/.ssh/config.


man ssh gives me this options would could be useful.

-i identity_file Selects a file from which the identity (private key) for RSA or DSA authentication is read. The default is ~/.ssh/identity for protocol version 1, and ~/.ssh/id_rsa and ~/.ssh/id_dsa for pro- tocol version 2. Identity files may also be specified on a per- host basis in the configuration file. It is possible to have multiple -i options (and multiple identities specified in config- uration files).

So you could create an alias in your bash config with something like

alias ssh="ssh -i /path/to/private_key"

I haven't looked into a ssh configuration file, but like the -i option this too could be aliased

-F configfile Specifies an alternative per-user configuration file. If a configuration file is given on the command line, the system-wide configuration file (/etc/ssh/ssh_config) will be ignored. The default for the per-user configuration file is ~/.ssh/config.


man ssh gives me this options would could be useful.

-i identity_file Selects a file from which the identity (private key) for RSA or DSA authentication is read. The default is ~/.ssh/identity for protocol version 1, and ~/.ssh/id_rsa and ~/.ssh/id_dsa for pro- tocol version 2. Identity files may also be specified on a per- host basis in the configuration file. It is possible to have multiple -i options (and multiple identities specified in config- uration files).

So you could create an alias in your bash config with something like

alias ssh="ssh -i /path/to/private_key"

I haven't looked into a ssh configuration file, but like the -i option this too could be aliased

-F configfile Specifies an alternative per-user configuration file. If a configuration file is given on the command line, the system-wide configuration file (/etc/ssh/ssh_config) will be ignored. The default for the per-user configuration file is ~/.ssh/config.


man ssh gives me this options would could be useful.

-i identity_file Selects a file from which the identity (private key) for RSA or DSA authentication is read. The default is ~/.ssh/identity for protocol version 1, and ~/.ssh/id_rsa and ~/.ssh/id_dsa for pro- tocol version 2. Identity files may also be specified on a per- host basis in the configuration file. It is possible to have multiple -i options (and multiple identities specified in config- uration files).

So you could create an alias in your bash config with something like

alias ssh="ssh -i /path/to/private_key"

I haven't looked into a ssh configuration file, but like the -i option this too could be aliased

-F configfile Specifies an alternative per-user configuration file. If a configuration file is given on the command line, the system-wide configuration file (/etc/ssh/ssh_config) will be ignored. The default for the per-user configuration file is ~/.ssh/config.


man ssh gives me this options would could be useful.

-i identity_file Selects a file from which the identity (private key) for RSA or DSA authentication is read. The default is ~/.ssh/identity for protocol version 1, and ~/.ssh/id_rsa and ~/.ssh/id_dsa for pro- tocol version 2. Identity files may also be specified on a per- host basis in the configuration file. It is possible to have multiple -i options (and multiple identities specified in config- uration files).

So you could create an alias in your bash config with something like

alias ssh="ssh -i /path/to/private_key"

I haven't looked into a ssh configuration file, but like the -i option this too could be aliased

-F configfile Specifies an alternative per-user configuration file. If a configuration file is given on the command line, the system-wide configuration file (/etc/ssh/ssh_config) will be ignored. The default for the per-user configuration file is ~/.ssh/config.