When you connect to a host via SSH, you'll be asked for your password, and after you authenticate you'll be connected. Instead of using your password though, you can authenticate via Public Key Authentication instead. The benefit to this is added security, as your system password is never transmitted during the process of connecting to the server. When you create an SSH key-pair, you are generating two files, a public key and a private key. These two files are mathematically linked, so if you connect to a server that has your public key, it will know it's you because you (and only you), have the private key that matches it. While public key cryptography as a whole is beyond the scope of this book, this ...
Getting started with SSH key management
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