Say I connect to Amazon's EC2 service for multiple clients, where each client has their own ssh settings and secret keys etc.

Is there a way I could swap the settings for each client?

I'm on OS X.

  • 1
    Are you looking for a way to synchronize the ssh configurations for each client? I'm not sure what you mean from your question.
    – bobmagoo
    Aug 23, 2012 at 16:42
  • Do you want to have the systems setup so the same key pair grants you ssh access to every system?
    – chuck
    Aug 23, 2012 at 17:54
  • I want to connect to each one without having to manually change my environmental variables etc. since connecting to ec2 assumes an environtal variable during ssh connection. Aug 23, 2012 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


Well, an easy way to do this, would be to put each key in ~/.ssh and then create a file in ~/.ssh called config

inside config you would then put lines like this for each host/key pair

Host host1.example1.com
IdentityFile ~/.ssh/key1
User username_on_host1

Host host2.example2.com
IdentityFile ~/.ssh/key2
User username_on_host2


then when connecting to each server it will use the proper usernames & keys

You could go further, by editing /etc/hosts and put shortened names for the IP addresses that your connecting to like such    host1

then in your config file you can just put host1 instead of host1.example.com

This way your clients get the added benefit of separate security instead of sharing the same key across all clients.

Edit: You should also

chmod 644 ~/.ssh/config

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