Is there a simple way to get a list of all fingerprints entered in the .ssh/authorized_keys || .ssh/authorized_keys2 file?

ssh-keygen -l -f .ssh/authorized_keys 

will only return fingerprint of first line / entry / publickey

hack with awk:

awk 'BEGIN { 
    while (getline < ".ssh/authorized_keys") {
        if ($1!~"ssh-(r|d)sa") {continue}
        print "Fingerprint for "$3
        system("echo " "\""$0"\"> /tmp/authorizedPublicKey.scan; \
            ssh-keygen -l -f /tmp/authorizedPublicKey.scan; \
            rm /tmp/authorizedPublicKey.scan"

but is there an easier way or ssh command I didn't find?

  • To do this reliably you have to consider the options field in the authorized_keys file, which the ssh-keygen baulks at. I looked for a reliable way to parse it but the best I could come up with is covered by this answer. – starfry Feb 10 '17 at 8:51

Here's another hack using plain bash without temporary files:

while read l; do
  [[ -n $l && ${l###} = $l ]] && ssh-keygen -l -f /dev/stdin <<<$l;
done < .ssh/authorized_keys

You can easily make it a function in your .bashrc:

function fingerprints() {
  local file="${1:-$HOME/.ssh/authorized_keys}"
  while read l; do
    [[ -n $l && ${l###} = $l ]] && ssh-keygen -l -f /dev/stdin <<<$l
  done < "${file}"

and call it with:

$ fingerprints .ssh/authorized_keys
  • 1
    nice @Raphink , thank you. added code.childno.de/marcel/changeset/afdce0dd ;) One note: ssh-keygen -l -f /dev/stdin seems not to work on a mac.. nevertheless not relevant for servers but gnaa apple or is it a BSD "problem" getting /dev/stdin is not a public key file.?! – childno͡.de Aug 1 '12 at 12:16
  • 1
    Reading from /dev/stdin is not a great idea in general, it's better to use -, but for some reason ssh-keygen doesn't know about -... – raphink Aug 1 '12 at 12:34
  • Doesn't work on Mac? – Will Jul 28 '14 at 1:13
  • 2
    This does not work if the keys are prefixed with options. – starfry Feb 9 '17 at 11:22
  • 1
    @ℝaphink: I'd go for local file="${1:-$HOME/.ssh/authorized_keys}" to allow for it to work without any arguments and default to the usual ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file and quote the < "$file" used as input to the while loop. – 0xC0000022L Aug 9 '17 at 12:24

A one-liner based on the /dev/stdin trick from ℝaphink's answer and man xargs → EXAMPLES:

egrep '^[^#]' ~/.ssh/authorized_keys | xargs -n1 -I% bash -c 'ssh-keygen -l -f /dev/stdin <<<"%"'
  • This works great, and given it's a one-liner, can easily be used to run the command via SSH. Thanks! – Thibaut Barrère Jan 11 '18 at 13:24
  • does not work with options field present in authorized_keys – thomas Mar 17 '20 at 12:00
  • this works for me: grep -o 'ssh-.*' ~/.ssh/authorized_keys | xargs -n1 -I% sh -c 'echo "%" | ssh-keygen -l -f /dev/stdin' – thomas Mar 17 '20 at 12:04

Here's a portable way to show all key fingerprints for a given file, tested on Mac and Linux:


    if (( $# != 1 )); then
        echo "Usage: ${FUNCNAME} <authorized keys file>" >&2
        return 1

    local file="$1"
    if [ ! -r "$file" ]; then
        echo "${FUNCNAME}: File '${file}' does not exist or isn't readable." >&2
        return 1

    # Must be declared /before/ assignment, because of bash weirdness, in
    # order to get exit code in $?.
    local TMPFILE

    TEMPFILE=$(mktemp -q -t "$0.XXXXXXXXXX")
    if (( $? != 0 )); then
        echo "${FUNCNAME}: Can't create temporary file." >&2
        return 1

    while read line; do
        # Make sure lone isn't a comment or blank.
        if [[ -n "$line" ]] && [ "${line###}" == "$line" ]; then
            # Insert key into temporary file (ignoring noclobber).
            echo "$line" >| "$TEMPFILE"

            # Fingerprint time.
            ssh-keygen -l -f "$TEMPFILE"

            # OVerwrite the file ASAP (ignoring noclobber) to not leave keys
            # sitting in temp files.
            >| "$TEMPFILE"
    done < "$file"

    rm -f "$TEMPFILE"
    if (( $? != 0 )); then
        echo "${FUNCNAME}: Failed to remove temporary file." >&2
        return 1

Example Usage:

bash $ fingerprint_keys ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
2048 xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:bb:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx  x@x.local (RSA)
bash $ 
  • sorry to say that but that's neither "simplier", nor "smaller" not even "smarter" and doesn't take another approach than listed above. just a script using more error handlers ;) – childno͡.de Jul 29 '14 at 5:40
  • 3
    Which makes it safer, right? You're welcome to make edits but why downvote? I didn't propose that it was any kind of better solution than yours... I feel a secure tempfile is better, and that more safety is needed for scripting purposes. Also, the version above is noclobber-safe. – Will Aug 2 '14 at 2:05
  • For a FreeBSD system (which does not use bash by default), I made the following changes: Assuming bash is installed from ports, change the first line to #!/usr/local/bin/bash. I then called the function by adding this as the last line: fingerprint_keys $@. I saved the script as fingerprints.bash, marking it executable with chmod u+x ./fingerprints.bash. Additionally, I added a comment to the file with the link to this answer, like so, near the top # solution from "Will" on SO http://serverfault.com/a/615892/126742. Call it like so ./fingerprints.bash ~/.ssh/authorized_keys. – derekv Aug 26 '15 at 13:44
  • 1
    @derekv: the more portable method is to use the following hashbang: #!/usr/bin/env bash, because the path for env is very portable and it tells env to execute the Bash it knows about. – 0xC0000022L Aug 9 '17 at 12:21

And should anyone need to do it on Windows / in PowerShell:

gc authorized_keys | foreach {$_ |ssh-keygen -l -f -}

or the fully-blown version without aliases looking for your user profile directory:

(Get-Content ((Get-Content env:/userprofile)+"/.ssh/authorized_keys")) | foreach {$_ |ssh-keygen -l -f -}

If and when reading from /dev/stdin it's an issue you may want to use process redirection without temporary files:

while read l; do
  [[ -n $l && ${l###} = $l ]] && ssh-keygen -l -f <(echo $l);
done < .ssh/authorized_keys

This is a version of ℝaphink's answer that will work on all sh-compatible shells.

fingerprints() {
    while read -r l; do
        [ -n "$l" ] && [ "${l###}" = "$l" ] && printf '%s\n' "$l" | ssh-keygen -l -f /dev/stdin
    done < "${_fingerprints_file}"
    unset _fingerprints_file

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