How to Copy an Account with SSH Keys


This document describes how to use SSH keys to securely copy an account from one server (source server) to another server (destination server).


This document uses the following definitions:

  • The destination server is the server to which you wish to copy the account.
  • The source server is the server from which you wish to copy the account, and on which the account already existed.
  • Use the public key on the source server only. Do not import the private key into the SSH keys of the source server.
  • If you experience problems with session timeouts, increase the number of seconds in the Number of second an SSH connection related to an account transfer may be inactive before timing out setting in the System section of the Tweak Settings interface (WHM >> Home >> Server Configuration >> Tweak Settings).

Securely copy an account with SSH keys


You must perform all of the actions below as the root user.

To use SSH keys to securely move an account from the source server to the destination server, perform the following steps:

  1. Log in to the destination server.
  2. Use WHM’s Manage root’s SSH Keys interface (WHM >> Home >> Security Center >> Manage root’s SSH Keys) to generate, authorize, and download a new SSH key pair.
  3. Log in to the source server.
  4. Use WHM’s Manage root’s SSH Keys interface (WHM >> Home >> Security Center >> Manage root’s SSH Keys) to import the public key that you generated.
    • Use a unique key name for this key.
    • Include the password, if necessary.
    • Paste the public key in the Paste the Public Key text box.

      Do not paste in the private key. The private key must remain on the destination server.

  5. Click Import, and then click Return to SSH Manager.
  6. Locate the key in the Public Keys table and click Manage Authorization.
  7. Click Authorize.
  8. Log in to the destination server.
  9. Use WHM’s Transfer Tool interface (WHM >> Home >> Transfers >> Transfer Tool) to perform the account transfer with the following settings:
    • Enter the appropriate information for the source server.
    • Under Login, select Root.
    • Under Authentication Method, select SSH Public Key.
    • Select the key that you generated in Step 2 from the SSH Key menu.
    • If necessary, enter the SSH key’s passphrase in the SSH Key Passphrase text box.

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