Tutorial: Configure SSH Key Authentication

To follow this tutorial on your own computer, please install the jet CLI locally first.

During your build you might want to access other repositories to pull in dependencies or push your code to other servers.

To do this you need to set up an encrypted SSH Key that is available as an environment variable and can be written to the .ssh folder.

We will walk you through an example that will set up a key, encrypt it and make it available during the build. For cloning from Github another option is to use their OAuth Key instead of an SSH key.

Create an SSH Key

The following command will create two files in your local repository. keyfile.rsa contains your private key that we will encrypt and put into your repository. This encrypted file will be decrypted on Codeship as part of your build. The second file keyfile.rsa.pub can be added to services that you want to access.

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "your_email@example.com" -f keyfile.rsa

Now you have to copy the content of keyfile.rsa into an environment file sshkey.env. Make sure to replace newlines with \n so the whole SSH key is in one line. The following is an example of ssh_key.env.


After preparing the sshkey.env file we can encrypt it with Jet. Follow the encryption tutorial to turn the sshkey.env file into a sshkey.env.encrypted file.

You can then add it to a service with the encrypted_env_file option. It will be automatically decrypted on Codeship.

  build: .
  encrypted_env_file: sshkey.env.encrypted

Setup during the build

Before running a command that needs SSH available make sure to run the following commands in that container. They will set up the SSH key so you can access external services.

mkdir -p "$HOME/.ssh"
echo -e $PRIVATE_SSH_KEY >> $HOME/.ssh/id_rsa

Need More Help?

Get in touch if you need more help, or post on Stack Overflow using the tag #Codeship.