How to remove ssh keys for the droplet.

Posted July 5, 2017 15.3k views
SecurityUbuntu 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?

These answers are provided by our Community. If you find them useful, show some love by clicking the heart. If you run into issues leave a comment, or add your own answer to help others.

Submit an Answer
3 answers

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?