I want to install Ubuntu 11.10. Is there any way to keep my current RSA keys?

  • 2
    You could just move them to ~/.ssh, you may have to make the directory.
    – Rob
    Nov 22, 2011 at 1:46
  • 1
    @Rob So I could just copy them to an external drive, do the install, then copy them back?
    – danwoods
    Nov 22, 2011 at 1:50
  • yup make sure to grab the public and private parts.
    – Sirex
    Nov 22, 2011 at 10:17

2 Answers 2


Yes, easily. Simply copy the ~/.ssh directory onto an external drive, perform the install, then copy them back.


When you reinstall Ubuntu you can keep your home folder, with ALL your settings, files, etc.

Just don't format any partitions and your /home will be kept.

In particular, your private authentication keys are preserved.

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