Move servers public/private keys to a new host

petesea at petesea at
Wed Jan 24 14:47:45 EST 2007

OK.... never mind, I panicked too soon.  My cut and paste of the private 
key missed a few bits on the cut and/or the paste.  Once I got the private 
key correct everything started to work.

On Mon, 22 Jan 2007, petesea at wrote:

> Is it possible to move a server's public and private keys from one host to 
> another?  Or perhaps a better way to ask what I really want... is it possible 
> to configure a server on a new host to return the same public key it did on 
> the old host?
> I'm in the process of migrating our CVS server from a Solaris host to a Linux 
> host (this weekend) and I just realized the hostkey is going to change.
> I tried copying the old host's pub/priv keys to the new host, but when I 
> start sshd on the new host (using -ddd) I get:
>   debug3: Not a RSA1 key file /usr/local/etc/ssh/old_ssh_host_rsa_key
>   debug1: PEM_read_PrivateKey failed
>   debug1: read PEM private key done: type <unknown>
>   Could not load host key: /usr/local/etc/ssh/old_ssh_host_rsa_key
> The biggest problem is with all our Windows users.  Since they only use SSH 
> (really plink) for CVS access, the CVS command fails if plink detects the 
> hostkey has changed.  This is really because the cvs command will fail if it 
> gets ANY response it doesn't understand.
> Many (most) of our Windows users use various GUI CVS clients that often hide 
> any output plink might display, but even if they DO happen to see any output, 
> 99% wouldn't know what to do based on the error.
> I'm trying to avoid a barrage of tech support calls the day after the server 
> changes.

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