I am playing around with Amazon EC2 and have (finally) managed to SSH into the box from my home machine. Now I want to connect from my work machine but neglected to copy the key pair on a USB key.

Is there a way of downloading an existing key pair WITHOUT dropping the instance?


3 Answers 3


As far as I know, private key can only be retrieved at the time you create the keypair (via EC2 web management console or via API commandline).

So you have to save the private key somewhere and be able to retrieve it at work in order to connect to the instance via SSH, since keypairs' public keys are automatically installed on EC2 servers when you launch them.

Hope that helps.

  • I suspected this might be the case, thanks for confirming :-) Nov 4, 2010 at 13:41

Agree with Fran, only other way to login via SSH would be to enable password authentication on the instance and login via ssh using username/password.

You may be able to do this from the console access within the AWS web interface.

  • Cheers, I will have to set up username / password authentication :-) Nov 4, 2010 at 13:41

This can be done through several ways:


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