I usually use authorized_key files to store SSH public keys in order to access my servers . However once I start to have multiple servers, I realize manually managing SSH keys is nightmare.
Recently I found out a better way to manage these SSH keys In /etc/ssh/sshd_config file there are 2 configurations:
AuthorizedKeysCommand /keys.sh AuthorizedKeysCommandUser nobody
We can use AuthorizedKeysCommand to point to an script that returns all the SSH keys. In this case, my script is:
#!/bin/bash curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/jasontthai/keys/master/$1
Name this file
key.sh and make it executable:
chmod a+x /keys.sh
The public keys are stored in a Github repo which can be updated any time. The structure of the repo is this:
keys/ ├── user1 ├── user2 ├── user3 └── user4
When I login with user1, the server will get user1’s public keys from Github and validates it agaisnt user1’s private key.
There are a few problems with this approach: I rely on an external service to retrieve the public keys. If Github goes offline, I will be unable to login to my servers at all. This also adds latency to the login step as we need to retrieve the keys over the internet. So I should think about some caching mechanism in case this happens.