One of the new features of IOS 15 that I’m most excited about is the ability to use RSA public key authentication. This works on both switches and routers.
Configuring public key authentication is pretty straight forward, in configuration mode create a user, and then associate the key to the user.
username test priv x secret supers3cr3tn0bdyw1llgue55 #You need to make sure this public key is trusted by our router. ip ssh pubkey-chain username test key-string copy the entire public key as appears in id_rsa.pub including ssh-rsa and username@hostname. please note that some IOS versions will accept maximum 254 characters. You can paste multiple lines. exit exit # Please also make sure that you generate # RSA keys on Server larger than 768 bits. # You can also set SSHv2 on server side (although strictly # speaking it's not required if you're using SSH 1.99) ip ssh version 2
The only gotcha really is that some devices (2960, 3560 switches, not ASR1000X’s) have a maximum line length and you need to split the public key string data into multiple lines no longer than 254 characters.