OpenSSH visual host fingerprint representation
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 activate, add the following line 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:
+--[ DSA 1024]----+| .o || ..o || .o +|| .E* || S o o .+|| o = B o. o|| o o = o. || . o . || . |+-----------------+
In this format, the DSA key may be read and memorized in a meaningful way. Take note if the pattern changes over time.
|Date||July 18, 2009|