OpenSSH Visual Host Fingerprint Representation

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With the visual host key fingerprint, users can more easily tell whether they recognize a hex key using ssh. The secure shell remote connection program lets you connect to another machine via an encrypted connection.

Apparently, there is a setting in OpenSSH 5.1 and later for visual remote host fingerprinting. The basic concept is that it’s much easier for the human brain to notice a change in a visual pattern than in a string of hex digits. To turn it on, simply add a line that says
VisualHostKey yes to your ~/.ssh/config file. Then, when you go to SSH into a server, you’ll see a visual representation of the remote host fingerprint, in addition to the regular fingerprint, as shown below:

Example

[[email protected] ~]$ ssh myhost.comHost key fingerprint is07:d4:02:db:9f:70:d5:2d:7f:1b:6a:df:83:73:95:1d+--[ RSA 2048]----+| .... .. . || +. .. o .|| . +.. o || = . Eo|| S + . B|| . o oo|| . o o|| o +.|| o .|+-----------------+
DateJuly 18, 2009