DE1-SoC: Using SSH keys

The standard Linux SD-Card images that you can get for the DE1-SoC board from the Terasic website have the SSH daemon enabled by default. Through this SSH connection it is possible to log in from a remote terminal or upload files SCP. However, by default you always have to enter a password. This short guide will show how to configure the systems to use SSH keys so no passwords are needed anymore. Furthermore, we will assign a static IP to the board.

This guide is not really specific to the DE1-SoC board. The same steps can be used on any Linux running an SSH server.

Using SSH keys

Static IP

Before we start on setting up the SSH keys we want to assign a static IP to the DE1-SoC. This way we don’t have to look up it’s IP every time the IP changes.
Assigning a static IP is just a matter of altering the configuration in /etc/network/interface. The DE1-SoC is connected via the ethernet jack to the network. However, the default configuration file also contains configurations for other interfaces such as a second ethernet interface and a WiFi card. We can throw out all configurations but the one for the lo and the eth0 interfaces.
The following configuration file sets the IP of the DE1-SoC to

Setting up the SSH keys

The following guide assumes that your host (desktop computer) is a Unix machine. However, everything works perfectly fine within a Cygwin environment on Windows.

Generating keys

First we have to generate an RSA public and private key pair on our host computer. This is done by using the ssh-keygen program:

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