Understanding SSH and SSL Certificates
SSH, or Secure Shell, is a network protocol for secure communication between two computers. It is widely used in the Linux world for remote login and file transfer, among other purposes. On the other hand, SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security protocol used to encrypt data transmitted over the internet. SSL certificates are a type of digital certificate that verify the identity of a website and encrypt the data transmitted between the website and the user’s browser.
PEM and OpenSSH Formats
PEM (Privacy Enhanced Mail) is a base64 encoded format for storing SSL certificates and private keys. It is widely used in the Linux world, including by OpenSSH, an open-source implementation of the SSH protocol. OpenSSH, however, uses a different format for storing public keys, called the OpenSSH format. This format is not compatible with the PEM format, and requires conversion before it can be used with OpenSSH.
Converting PEM to OpenSSH
To convert a PEM format public key to the OpenSSH format, we can use the ssh-keygen command. First, open a terminal and navigate to the directory where the PEM file is located. Then, run the following command:
This command reads the contents of the PEM file and converts it to the OpenSSH format, saving the result in a new file called public_key_openssh.pub. You can then use this file with OpenSSH as you would any other public key.
Converting OpenSSH to PEM
Conversely, if you have an OpenSSH format public key and need to convert it to the PEM format, you can use the following command:
This command reads the contents of the OpenSSH format public key and converts it to the PEM format, saving the result in a new file called public_key.pem.
The Importance of Secure Communication
Secure communication is of utmost importance in the digital age, where information is transmitted at an unprecedented rate. The internet has made communication and data exchange easier than ever before, but it has also introduced new security risks. Without proper encryption and authentication mechanisms in place, sensitive information can fall into the wrong hands, leading to financial loss, identity theft, and other serious consequences.
SSH and SSL certificates are two of the most widely used tools for ensuring secure communication on the internet. SSH provides a secure channel for remote access to servers and other devices, while SSL certificates ensure that websites are who they claim to be and that data transmitted between the website and the user’s browser is encrypted and secure.
The Need for Conversion
If you are working with public keys in the Linux world, you may come across situations where you need to convert between PEM and OpenSSH formats. For example, you may have a PEM format public key that you need to use with OpenSSH, or vice versa. In these cases, it is important to know how to convert between the two formats quickly and easily.
FAQs for ssh-keygen convert pem to openssh
What is the purpose of converting a PEM file to OpenSSH format?
The PEM file format is widely used, but it is not supported by all SSH clients and platforms. The OpenSSH format, on the other hand, is a standard for SSH keys and is compatible with most SSH clients. Therefore, converting a PEM file to OpenSSH format can make it easier to use the same key with different types of SSH clients and platforms.
How can I convert a PEM file to OpenSSH format using ssh-keygen?
To convert a PEM file to OpenSSH format using ssh-keygen, you can use the following command:
ssh-keygen -i -f
In this command,
<input_file> is the name of the PEM file that you want to convert, and
<output_file> is the name of the file to which you want to save the converted OpenSSH key. The
-i option tells ssh-keygen to convert the input file from PEM to OpenSSH format.
Can I convert a private key in PEM format to OpenSSH format?
Yes, you can convert a private key in PEM format to OpenSSH format using the ssh-keygen command. The process is the same as for a public key, as described in the previous answer.
What are some common reasons for conversion errors?
Some common reasons for conversion errors include incorrect file paths, file corruption, or invalid key file formats. Ensure that the file path is correct and that the input file is not corrupted before attempting to convert the key.
Are there any security considerations when converting SSH keys between formats?
As with any operation involving SSH keys, ensure that you are performing the conversion on a trusted system and that you are not exposing your private key to any unauthorized parties. In addition, be sure to verify the integrity and correctness of the converted key before using it.