Howto enable SSH public key authentication on Ubiquiti AirOS (e.g. NanoStation2)

March 31, 2012

First you need to check if the ssh service is enabled and than you need to login and use following commands. First you need to make sure your home directory is the same as mine:

echo ~

should return /etc/persistent, which is used in this Howto. So lets start the actual work:

chmod 750 /etc/persistent/
cd /etc/persistent/
mkdir .ssh
chmod 700 .ssh

Type on the machine you want to be able to use for public key login:

cat ~/.ssh/id_dsa.pub | ssh [email protected] 'cat >> /etc/persistent/.ssh/authorized_keys'

Now you should be able to login like this

ssh [email protected]

without a password. If so you need to make sure that it stays so even after a reboot:

cfgmtd -w -p /etc/

Type reboot to test it!

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