Secure Your SSH Keys: Correct Permissions for Enhanced Security

Understand the importance of setting precise file permissions in your SSH folder to prevent security breaches. Follow our step-by-step guide to correctly configure your SSH keys and directories for optimal security.

Secure Your SSH Keys: Correct Permissions for Enhanced Security
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I recently got an error on my work machine while restoring a backup of my ssh keys. The error stated that the permissions were too open for my private key.

Permissions 0777 for '/home/<user>/.ssh/id_rsa' are too open.

Following an article from Stackoverflow i've set the access rights of all the files in the .ssh folder to 600. This solved the issue but is actually not better, because each file has it’s own permission for a reason. We set read only permission on these files for security reasons. Some are even changed by your ssh client and need a different permission due to that.

Fixing these permissions

These commands can help you get your permissions right

chown -R $USER:$USER ~/.ssh
chmod 700 ~/.ssh
chmod 644 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
chmod 644 ~/.ssh/known_hosts
chmod 644 ~/.ssh/config
chmod 600 ~/.ssh/id*
chmod 644 ~/.ssh/id*.pub

You may need to use sudo to avoid errors.

I hope this helped you 😉. If you have any questions, please send me a little message. I will be happy to help you. If you liked this tutorial, please share it with your friends. Thank you for reading!