Between Linux and Anime

Kind of like Schrodinger's Cat

SSH browsing in Dolphin using an ssh key file

FileZilla and other such applications that deal with remote file transfer protocols have all become deprecated on my desktop when I discovered that you could directly browse those files using dolphin and directly edit those files with kwrite/kate, thanks to Kio. (You could do it on Gnome too, for example to browse an ftp location, just type “ftp://your_ftp_host/path” into the location bar on nautilus, dolphin, or konqueror). I’ve been using the fish Kio-slave to browse ssh-secured locations for some time now, but today I needed to access a location secured by ssh key instead of a password. It was not immediately obvious to me how to do this, so I’m gonna quickly pen down my solution.

When you point dolphin to an ssh-secured location (type “fish://your_host/path”), it will attempt to connect and prompt you for a password. There is no way to tell it at this point to use an ssh key file instead to the best of my knowledge. What we’ll need to do is to modify the ssh configurations to look for your ssh key file when authenticating. Simply add a line like the following (or uncomment / copy and modify it, if your config file already has such a line):

IdentityFile path/to/your/key/file

The system-wide config file is typically found at /etc/ssh/ssh_config, and the per-user one at ~/.ssh/config. The latter may not exist by default, you could simply create it as a copy of the system-wide one. With this done, you should be able to connect with fish with no problems.

I have not tried this out on Gnome, but I suspect things are not far different there.

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  1. Ana Brásio

    Thank you for your post. It helped me!


  2. Ruben

    nautilus(GNOME) tries to identify using the system ssh config. So nothing needed to get this working.

  3. Jason "moofang"

    @Ruben: that means it works like dolphin/kio does. You still need to add that line to your system ssh config (or per-user one) if your ssh key is in a custom folder.

  4. It’s June 2014. This post still was the top google hit (for me) for
    kio fish identity_file
    and adding an ~/.ssh/config with a single IdentityFile line made it possible for me to browse my AWS server from Konqueror.
    If someone reads this in another five years, and this post helps you with something that hasn’t been invented yet, leave a reply!

  5. Stefano Cazzola

    Thanks a bunch! Been looking for that for quite the time!

  6. Anonymous Coward

    And fastforward to 2016, this helped me to use dolphin to do key based authnentication :)

  7. datdude

    yep 2017 and still working

  8. Great, many thanks! Solved my problem.

  9. posta

    My IdentityFile is password protected and I (I think that’s why) Dolphin cannot connect. In Krusader there are fields for username and password, so I entered this password and it works.

  10. Joan Vilarnau

    Yeah, 2020. Still in the top! ;)

  11. Nicolas

    More than 10 years, and still helpful. Thanks !

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