My laptop has a well-populated ~/.ssh/known_hosts file. I'd like to leverage that when connecting to remote hosts from my desktop, since tracking down the fingerprints can be a real chore. However, I can't seem to find a way to ask ssh-keygen or ssh-keyscan to tell me the locally-known fingerprint for known hosts. Any ideas?


1 Answer 1


Try this command:

% ssh-keygen -l -f ~/.ssh/known_hosts

2048 c2:e7:c0:9f:cd:c8:54:88:ac:b3:6b:a6:51:73:2b:e3 mach1, (RSA)
2048 a2:5e:8c:4e:2e:be:be:eb:23:12:5e:fe:6c:4b:23:dd mach2, (RSA)
1024 ae:5f:bc:e3:33:c3:dd:45:1e:18:1a:46:d1:d6:d2:39 mach3, (RSA)

just want a single host:

% ssh-keygen -l -f ~/.ssh/known_hosts -F mach1
2048 c2:e7:c0:9f:cd:c8:54:88:ac:b3:6b:a6:51:73:2b:e3 mach1 (RSA)



  • 9
    Thanks! I didn't know you could use -l with a known_hosts file. Here's a version that even better addresses my question: ssh-keygen -l -f ~/.ssh/known_hosts -F example.com Jan 21, 2013 at 2:10
  • 5
    Incidentally, the reason -F is important for me is that whatever version of SSH I have installed has hashed all the hostnames in the known_hosts file. I can't just grep for the line I want. (This is a useful security measure if someone ever gets my private key -- they're less likely to figure out what machines it can get them into.) Jan 24, 2013 at 23:05
  • 15
    It is worth noting that recent versions of openssh default to a SHA256 hash. To get the older md5 hash, use the -E md5 option.
    – a172
    Sep 8, 2015 at 15:08
  • 4
    And if a non-standard port is used: [example.com]:1234 May 7, 2016 at 21:04
  • 4
    To get host key fingerprints for an SSH server (replace example IP with your server's IP or hostname): ssh-keyscan | ssh-keygen -l -f -
    – TrinitronX
    Feb 14, 2018 at 1:24

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