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Connecting Robo-FTP client to an SFTP server using key authentication.

Some SFTP servers allow for (or even require) a client SSH key instead of a password for authentication. Configuring the software to use SSH key authentication is a four step process:

  1. Create (or import) a client SSH key pair.
  2. Set up a managed site in the Robo-FTP Configurator and configure it to use the key you created in the first step for authentication.
  3. Export the SSH public key.
  4. Send the SSH public key to the server administrator so your account on the server can be configured to allow authentication with that key.

Note that you can also specify key authentication from within your script by using the /keyauth option to the FTPLOGON command. See the Help file for more details on this option.

If your SSH key pair was generated in Robo-FTP, follow the steps below appropriate to your version of Robo-FTP to export a copy of your public key file:

Robo-FTP 3.6.x and earlier

When you created the public/private key using the Robo-FTP Configurator, you may remember that three separate key files were created with .openssh, .ssh1, and .ssh2 extensions. Different SSH/SSH2 servers require a public key file to be in a recognized format (and named with a recognized file name extension.) The safest thing to do is place all three of these files on the server in the designated directory and let the server find the one that it needs.

Robo-FTP 3.7.x

Version 3.7 of the Robo-FTP Configurator only generates the public SSH key file in OpenSSH format.

You can use PuTTYgen (a third-party tool) to convert keys stored in the OpenSSH format by Robo-FTP 3.7 to the SSH2 format required by some remote servers.

The following steps were verified to work in PuTTYgen version 2011-05-25:r9169

  1. Click the menu item FileLoad private key then select your private SSH key file. If generated by Robo-FTP 3.7, the private file is the one without any file extension. Note: the private key file also contains the public key.

  2. After importing your key, choose SSH-2 RSA as the Type of key to generate radio button on the bottom edge of the main PuTTYgen window.

  3. Click the "Save Public Key" button to create a file containing only the public key to send to a remote server administrator or the "Save Private Key" button to save the private key for your own backup purposes. You should never send your private key file to anyone outside your organization.

PuTTYgen is open source software.

Robo-FTP 3.8 and later

Client SSH key pairs generated in Robo-FTP 3.8 go directly into native key storage. The contents of the key store are displayed as a grid on the bottom of the Manage SSH menu in the Configurator. Select the grid row for the key you want, right-click and choose Export Public Key from the pop-up context menu. The public key will be exported in OpenSSH format but can be converted with PuTTYgen as described in the section on version 3.7 above.

See also:

How do I use multiple SSH keys with the Robo-FTP client?

Article last updated: 2017-07-10

Tags: Robo-FTP, SSH, Public Key Authentication

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