An SSH key allows you to establish a secure connection between your computer and GitLab.
Before generating an SSH key, check if your system already has one by running
cat ~/.ssh/
If you see a long string starting with ssh-rsa or ssh-dsa, you can skip the ssh-keygen step.
To generate a new SSH key, just open your terminal and use code below. The ssh-keygen command prompts you for a location and filename to store the key pair and for a password. When prompted for the location and filename, you can press enter to use the default.
It is a best practice to use a password for an SSH key, but it is not required and you can skip creating a password by pressing enter. Note that the password you choose here can’t be altered or retrieved.
ssh-keygen -t rsa -C “”
Use the code below to show your public key.
cat ~/.ssh/
Copy-paste the key to the ‘My SSH Keys’ section under the ‘SSH’ tab in your user profile. Please copy the complete key starting with ssh- and ending with your username and host.
Use code below to copy your public key to the clipboard. Depending on your OS you’ll need to use a different command:
clip < ~/.ssh/
pbcopy < ~/.ssh/
Linux (requires xclip):
xclip -sel clip < ~/.ssh/
Deploy keys allow read-only access to multiple projects with a single SSH key.
This is really useful for cloning repositories to your Continuous Integration (CI) server. By using deploy keys, you don’t have to setup a dummy user account.
If you are a project master or owner, you can add a deploy key in the project settings under the section ‘Deploy Keys’. Press the ‘New Deploy Key’ button and upload a public SSH key. After this, the machine that uses the corresponding private key has read-only access to the project.
You can’t add the same deploy key twice with the ‘New Deploy Key’ option. If you want to add the same key to another project, please enable it in the list that says ‘Deploy keys from projects available to you’. All the deploy keys of all the projects you have access to are available. This project access can happen through being a direct member of the projecti, or through a group. See def accessible_deploy_keys in app/models/user.rb for more information.