ssh-import-id(1) retrieve one or more public keys from a public keyserver and append them to the current user's authorized_keys file (or some other specified file)


ssh-import-id [options] USER_ID_1 [gh:USER_ID_2] ... [lp:USER_ID_n]

ssh-import-id-lp USER_ID_1 [USER_ID_2] ... [USER_ID_n]

ssh-import-id-gh USER_ID_1 [USER_ID_2] ... [USER_ID_n]


 -h | --help            usage

 -o | --output F        write output to file 'F' (default ~/.ssh/authorized_keys, use "-" for standard out)

 -r | --remove          remove keys from authorized keys file 'F'

 PROTO:USER_ID          Protocol can be 'lp' for, or 'gh' for


This utility will securely contact a public keyserver and retrieve one or more user's public keys, and append these to the current user's ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file, standard output or any other specified output file.

User IDs can be prepended by a protocol:

 - lp: to use
 - gh: to use

If the protocol is not explicitly specified, then ssh-import-id will read a URL variable string from /etc/ssh/ssh_import_id as installed by your package manager and configured by your system administrator. You can override this locally by exporting the string you want in a URL environment variable. If all of these are empty, then the protocol is assumed to be "lp:", which was the original target implementation of this tool.

Any keys added will be "labled" with a trailing comment, "# ssh-import-id PROTO:USER_ID". Revoking keys will first look for lines in the authorized keys file ending with that label.




This manpage and the utility was written by Dustin Kirkland <[email protected]> for Ubuntu systems (but may be used by others). Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU General Public License, Version 3 published by the Free Software Foundation.

On Debian systems, the complete text of the GNU General Public License can be found in /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL.