Checking for existing SSH keys
Before you generate an SSH key, you can check to see if you have any existing SSH keys.
Note: DSA keys (SSH-DSS) are no longer supported. Existing keys will continue to function, but you cannot add new DSA keys to your GitHub account.
Open TerminalTerminalGit Bashthe terminal.
ls -al ~/.sshto see if existing SSH keys are present:
$ ls -al ~/.ssh # Lists the files in your .ssh directory, if they exist
Check the directory listing to see if you already have a public SSH key. By default, the filenames of the public keys are one of the following:
If you don't have an existing public and private key pair, or don't wish to use any that are available to connect to GitHub, then generate a new SSH key.
If you see an existing public and private key pair listed (for example id_rsa.pub and id_rsa) that you would like to use to connect to GitHub, you can add your SSH key to the ssh-agent.
Tip: If you receive an error that ~/.ssh doesn't exist, don't worry! We'll create it when we generate a new SSH key.