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Discussion on: How to Manage Multiple SSH Key Pairs

phlash909 profile image
Phil Ashby

Thanks Joseph, this really is something I should do more often than I do (to reduce the attack surface of a compromised key)! I tend to separate by activity area (ie: work, home, project) rather than individual targets.

Also worth noting is that password managers frequently integrate via ssh-agent (eg:, which can help keep everything tidy and safely enable portability (how many times have I left my offline key store at home.. sheesh!).

As a final security comment, ssh private keys are only as safe as their pass-phrases, so when you say "Use a passphrase when prompted.", that's likely the weakest link in this setup - possibly another good reason to delegate to a password manager with a strong pass phrase.

josephmidura profile image
Joseph Midura Author

I agree that password managers are a must, and I struggled with how in depth to make this post to keep it beginner friendly. I'll use your suggestion for an optional/advanced section when I have time to do some edits.

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