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Step 6: Create and use our own SSH-Key


In order to access our VMs via SSH we need to create an SSH keypair.

If you already have a keypair, we don’t need to create a new one. The only exception to this is if we the keypair we have is an ED25519 keypair, these are not usable because of a bug in OpenStack’s OpenSSL.


As mentioned in step 2, there are many ways to create an SSH keypair.

In this step we will create one from the console with this command:

$ ssh-keygen -t rsa -f Beispiel.key
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:
Your identification has been saved in Beispiel.key.
Your public key has been saved in
The key fingerprint is:
The key's randomart image is:
+---[RSA 2048]----+
|    .  .o        |
|+. o o o         |
|=.+ o +          |
|+= o . .       ..|
|oo+ =   S .   o B|
|o. =...    o . =E|
|o.+  +  . + .  . |
|.=  . ...+.o     |
|.oo.   o++o..    |

The command above will generate two files, this is why we refer to it as a keypair.

The two files generated are Beispiel.key (the private key) and Beispiel, (The public key)

You should keep your private key to yourself, while we will distribute the public key to places where we want access to.


To start using our new keypair, we need to add it to our OpenStack environment, which we’ll do with the OpenStack client.

We will use the command below (in our example, the created keypair is stored in ~/.ssh/, if your keys are saved in a different location, you need to copy the keypair to ~/.ssh/)

$ openstack keypair create --public-key ~/.ssh/ Beispiel
| Field       | Value                                           |
| fingerprint | ec:a6:75:f9:33:4b:e0:ba:e7:bb:b6:8a:a1:5d:48:ff |
| name        | Beispiel                                        |
| user_id     | 9bf501f4c3d14b7eb0f1443efe80f656                |

We can check if everything worked by listing the keys and seeing the one we just uploaded:

$ openstack keypair list
| Name     | Fingerprint                                     |
| Beispiel | ec:a6:75:f9:33:4b:e0:ba:e7:bb:b6:8a:a1:5d:48:ff |


We have now generated a keypair and uploaded the public key, we can use it to log in to our new Instances.

We explain exactly how this works in Step 7.