You can retrieve files using public/private key pair authentication for passwordless FTP/SFTP. This automates delivery of files to OCLC and eliminates the need to manually enter a password when using an FTP account. It also allows your institution to change the key on a regular basis for added security.
This procedure is for Linux systems. Although similar methods would be used for other systems, OCLC has tested this method using Linux as the SCP and SFTP client machine. A password is requested while uploading the public key, but once replaced, future logins and file transfers do not require a password.
Generate and upload your public key
To generate and upload your public key to your FTP account:
- Generate a private/public key pair on your client machine and put it in a file called /home/user1/.ssh/id_rsa.pub on your local machine. If you are unsure how to generate a private/public key pair, you can use the method described here: https://askleo.com/how_can_i_automate_an_sftp_transfer_between_two_servers/ (this method puts the private/public key file in the correct place on your local machine automatically).
- Upload your public key to .ssh/authorized_keys in your FTP account on scp.oclc.org, for example (see Determine which host your library should use for your actual host name).
.ssh/authorized_keys file before uploading the new one. The new file you upload automatically replaces the existing file while retaining its permissions and ownership properties. If you delete the existing file before uploading the new file, you will have insufficient rights on the system to set the necessary group ownership for .ssh/authorized_keys and therefore will continue to be asked for a password.Do not delete the existing
The examples below indicate more than one space to illustrate where a space is needed. When entering your commands, please use only one space.
If using a Linux-based system, you can use either of these commands to upload the public key file to the correct location (both commands presuppose you generated the private/public key using the method in the note to step 1 above).
Replace user1 below with the username you use to login to your local machine. Replace xxx with your FTP username.
- First command
- scp /email@example.com:.ssh/authorized_keys
- Second command
- put/home/user1/.ssh/id_rsa.pub .ssh/authorized_keys