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Version: 304560 (debian - 07/07/09)

Section: 8 (Commandes administrateur)


monkeysphere-host - Monkeysphere host admin tool.


monkeysphere-host subcommand [args]


Monkeysphere is a framework to leverage the OpenPGP web of trust for OpenSSH authentication. OpenPGP keys are tracked via GnuPG, and added to the authorized_keys and known_hosts files used by OpenSSH for connection authentication.

monkeysphere-host is a Monkeysphere server admin utility for managing the host's OpenPGP host key.


monkeysphere-host takes various subcommands:

import-key FILE NAME[:PORT]
Import a pem-encoded ssh secret host key from file FILE. If FILE is `-', then the key will be imported from stdin. Only RSA keys are supported at the moment. NAME[:PORT] is used to specify the fully-qualified hostname (and port) used in the user ID of the new OpenPGP key. If PORT is not specified, the no port is added to the user ID, which means port 22 is assumed. `i' may be used in place of `import-key'.
Output information about host's OpenPGP and SSH keys. `s' may be used in place of `show-key'.
set-expire [EXPIRE]
Extend the validity of the OpenPGP key for the host until EXPIRE from the present. If EXPIRE is not specified, then the user will be prompted for the extension term. Expiration is specified as with GnuPG (measured from today's date):
          0 = key does not expire
       <n>  = key expires in n days
       <n>w = key expires in n weeks
       <n>m = key expires in n months
       <n>y = key expires in n years
`e' may be used in place of `set-expire'.
add-hostname HOSTNAME
Add a hostname user ID to the server host key. `n+' may be used in place of `add-hostname'.
revoke-hostname HOSTNAME
Revoke a hostname user ID from the server host key. `n-' may be used in place of `revoke-hostname'.
add-revoker KEYID|FILE
Add a revoker to the host's OpenPGP key. The key ID will be loaded from the keyserver. A file may be loaded instead of pulling the key from the keyserver by specifying the path to the file as the argument, or by specifying `-' to load from stdin. `r+' may be be used in place of `add-revoker'.
Generate (with the option to publish) a revocation certificate for the host's OpenPGP key. If such a certificate is published, your host key will be permanently revoked. This subcommand will ask you a series of questions, and then generate a key revocation certificate, sending it to stdout. If you explicitly tell it to publish the revocation certificate immediately, it will send it to the public keyservers. USE WITH CAUTION!
Publish the host's OpenPGP key to the public keyservers. `p' may be used in place of `publish-key'. Note that there is no way to remove a key from the public keyservers once it is published!
Output a brief usage summary. `h' or `?' may be used in place of `help'.
show version number

Other commands:

Review the state of the monkeysphere server host key and report on suggested changes. Among other checks, this includes making sure there is a valid host key, that the key is not expired, that the sshd configuration points to the right place, etc. `d' may be used in place of `diagnostics'.


To enable host verification via the monkeysphere, an OpenPGP key must be made out of the host's ssh key, and the key must be published to the Web of Trust. This is not done by default. The first step is to import the host's ssh key into a monkeysphere-style OpenPGP key. This is done with the import-key command. When importing a key, you must specify the path to the host's ssh RSA key to import, and a hostname to use as the key's user ID:

# monkeysphere-host import-key /etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key

On most systems, the ssh host RSA key is stored at /etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key.

Once the host key has been imported, it must be published to the Web of Trust so that users can retrieve the key when sshing to the host. The host key is published to the keyserver with the publish-key command:

$ monkeysphere-host publish-key

In order for users logging into the system to be able to identify the host via the monkeysphere, at least one person (e.g. a server admin) will need to sign the host's key. This is done using standard OpenPGP keysigning techniques, usually: pull the key from the keyserver, verify and sign the key, and then re-publish the signature. Please see for more information. Once an admin's signature is published, users logging into the host can use it to validate the host's key without having to manually check the host key's fingerprint.


The following environment variables will override those specified in the config file (defaults in parentheses):

Set the log level. Can be SILENT, ERROR, INFO, VERBOSE, DEBUG, in increasing order of verbosity. (INFO)
OpenPGP keyserver to use. (
If set to `false', never prompt the user for confirmation. (true)


System monkeysphere-host config file.
A world-readable copy of the host's public key in OpenPGP format, including all relevant self-signatures.


This man page was written by: Jameson Rollins <>, Daniel Kahn Gillmor <>, Matthew Goins <>


monkeysphere(1), monkeysphere-authentication(8), monkeysphere(7), gpg(1), ssh(1), sshd(8)

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Au temps de ma jeunesse folle, Comme fait le mauvais enfant.
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