How to remove ssh keys for the droplet.

July 5, 2017 8.1k views
Security Ubuntu 16.04

I have created a ssh key for my droplet at digital oceans. After few days I have deleted the key from security page and still I am able to ssh using putty with that key. Is it necessary to delete the key from authorized_keys file. If so, then what is the use of adding/deleting ssh keys to droplet on their above mentioned security page?

3 Answers
jamieson July 6, 2017
Accepted Answer

Hansen is right. Installing keys on Droplets is a one-way deal: they're installed at initial boot only and never updated or removed. That keys repo is used for new droplets only.

To remove a key from a droplet:

sudo nano $HOME/.ssh/authorized_keys

Find and remove that key, and then save. You do not need to restart the SSH process.

If you are trying to manage keys across a team, you need tools like Userify (disclaimer: I work there),'s Universal Key Manager, or use a tool like Chef or Puppet to actually remove those keys from authorized_keys.

Hi @nipun59

Yes, you need to remove it from the authorized_keys - that's the one controlling who can get into the server.

The point of the security page, is to have a storage of keys, that you can easily create new droplets with a key from the storage.

So just to be clear, I have zero droplets so there are no authorized_keys to be removed. My question was, how do I remove the keys from the create droplet screen?

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