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What is SSH?

Published on February 3, 2021 · Updated on February 3, 2021
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By Mark Drake

Manager, Developer Education

What is SSH?

Secure Shell — more commonly known as SSH — is a cryptographic network protocol that allows users to securely access one computer from another over an unsecured network.

SSH uses public-key cryptography to authenticate users and machines; a system administrator will add the public key of any user who must access a remote computer to a specific location in its filesystem. On Unix-like systems, authorized public keys are typically stored in the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file. Any user who presents a private SSH key that matches one of the public keys on the remote machine will be able to access it.

For more educational resources related to SSH, please visit our resources on How To Set Up SSH Keys and How To Use SFTP to Securely Transfer Files with a Remote Server.

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About the authors
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Manager, Developer Education

Technical Writer @ DigitalOcean

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