Using and Managing SSH Keys

Authentication with remote services is often accomplished with SSH Keys. While being a very secure and professional method, it can be a bit tedious to set up and manage. Tower makes this easier by allowing you to manage SSH keys for your accounts right from within the app.

Using Tower to Load SSH Keys

With a service account selected in the sidebar, activate the Account tab on the right to get an overview of this account's authentication settings.

In the Git Connection Settings, Tower can be instructed to load and use a dedicated SSH key. For this, you need to provide the path to an existing private SSH key and the password for it. Tower will always only send the corresponding Public key to the service.

Using an SSH Agent to Load SSH Keys

Tower can access your macOS' key chain to use the SSH keys registered there. MacOS registers your keys automatically up to macOS 10.11 El Capitan.

Manually Registering SSH Keys in the Keychain
MacOS Sierra stopped registering SSH keys automatically. You can do this manually by executing ssh-add -K /path/to/key in Terminal.
To autoload your keys you need to add this command to your bash profile.

Please try to restart Tower (⌘Q).

Managing SSH Public Keys

With a service account selected in the sidebar, activate the Public Keys tab on the right to get an overview of this account's keys.


Adding a Public Key

To add a public key to a service account, you need to click Create Public Key on the top of the list of existing keys.

In the following dialog, it's crucial that you (a) only enter the public part of your key and (b) enter it exactly as it's contained in the .pub file.





Deleting a Public Key

To delete a public key from your service account, simply click the Delete button on the right of the entry in Tower. Your local key files will of course not be deleted hereby; this affects only the saved key in your service account.


Editing a Public Key

Tower does not support changing or editing a public key item - because it's extremely fast & easy to simply delete and recreate a public key through Tower's interface.

More information about SSH Public Keys
You can find detailed instructions on how to create and handle public keys in general on our learning platform learn-git.com