I am a casual linux user but I am having a some difficulty understanding some directions sent to me from a company we provide data to. They want us to use ssh (which I have used before) to transfer data with the scp. The problem is that I have never used ssh-keygen nor do I completely comprehend how it works. Could someone help me along. I will include the instructions so you can see exactly what they sent me.
*In the ‘home’ directory of the account that will be sending the data, it is best to create a ‘.ssh’ directory (if it does not exist). This is the default location that is used for managing all ssh keypairs. You can have several different keypairs, and so naming conventions are helpful (as a default, ssh-keygen uses ‘id-rsa’ for the filename of the keys (id-rsa for the private key and id-rsa.pub for the public key). The command that I usually recommend to create the key pair would be; ssh-keygen -t rsa -N "" -f name -C "account@server_name - brief description"
Where; the ‘-t’ flag is for the type of key to create (rsa), the ‘-N’ flag is for optional passphrase (“” is a null string – essentially no passphrase set (which is what you want for an automated process, but not what you want when/if setting up for personal use)), the ‘-f’ flag is for filename (this is what would be used to replace the default ‘id_rsa’ name – this can then be specified when invoking the ‘scp’ command), the ‘-C’ flag is for a comment field (this is useful if you have multiple keys, you can insert a brief description on what the key is used for – I typically recommend that the server and account that generated the key is included with a brief description on its primary use; ‘unduser1@hostname – transfer data to X company).*
Thanks for the help!