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Public Key Authentication

Public key authentication is an alternative to using a password. With proper set up, public key authentication offers reasonably secure single signon for users who open many terminal sessions or upload/download files frequently. It is available on many sites that support ssh, including the AICT Linux Cluster and other high performance computing facilities managed by AICT, as well as external sites such as those in WestGrid.

Note that public key authentication bypasses Kerberos authentication on AICT computing facilities. As such, access to your AFS home directory will be limited to read-only. To acquire full access, you will need to use the klog command, which will prompt you for your CCID password. Consequently, if you make extensive use of AFS, public key authentication will not be so convenient.

You can set up and use public key authentication with OpenSSH (Windows/Cygwin, Macintosh OS X, and Linux) or with PuTTY (Windows).

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