How to set SSH key for multiple users?

I currently have 3 accounts on my droplet, for this case I’ll be using the names “root”, “a”, and “b”. I have my SSH key set up so that it currently applies to account a. How do I apply it to the root account as well, but not to account b?

Submit an answer

This textbox defaults to using Markdown to format your answer.

You can type !ref in this text area to quickly search our full set of tutorials, documentation & marketplace offerings and insert the link!

Sign In or Sign Up to Answer

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.

Want to learn more? Join the DigitalOcean Community!

Join our DigitalOcean community of over a million developers for free! Get help and share knowledge in Q&A, subscribe to topics of interest, and get courses and tools that will help you grow as a developer and scale your project or business.


Great question. There are several ways to do this, but this is mine:

  1. Switch to the user:
su a
  1. Generate SSH keys:
{hit enter a few times}
  1. Create/edit authorized keys file:
nano ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
  1. Paste your public key in that file and close it out.

  2. Rinse and repeat with each user.

Everyone has preferences, that one just fits my brain :)