Overview

Automate Schedule allows secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) using public/private key encryption instead of a username/password combination. To use this feature, you must create secure shell (SSH) keys that can be used by the SFTP client on the Automate Schedule agent.

Automate Schedule requires that private SSH keys be stored in OpenSSH (OpenBSD secure shell) format. On Windows, you can use PuTTYgen (www.putty.org) to generate the keys in the proper format. On UNIX and Linux, you can use ssh-keygen from OpenSSH (www.openssh.com). The following sections describe how to generate the SSH keys.

Note: Skybot Scheduler has been renamed to Automate Schedule and is now part of the Automate suite of products. The existing Skybot Scheduler features and functionality are the same; only the product name has changed.

Windows

If you're currently using PuTTY for SFTP transfers from your Windows system, the auxiliary program, PuTTYgen, can be used to convert an existing key (that's saved in .ppk format) for use with Automate Schedule. Or PuTTYgen can be used to create a new key.

To convert an existing .ppk key to be compatible with Automate Schedule:

  1. Open PuTTYgen (PuTTY Key Generator).
  2. Click Load.
  3. Select your existing .ppk file and click Open.
  4. After the key is loaded, select Conversions > Export OpenSSH Key. This saves the private key to the correct file format for use with Automate Schedule.
  5. If there is a warning about saving without a passphrase, click Yes.
  6. Save the OpenSSH key in a location that can be accessed by the Automate Schedule jobs that will be using the key. A typical location for storing private keys like this would be in the user's home directory inside an .ssh directory. For example: "c:\users\myuser\.ssh\id_rsa".
  7. Close PuTTYgen.
  8. When creating or editing a file transfer system object in Automate Schedule, select SFTP as the Protocol, select an Authentication Type of Public/Private Key, and reference the private key you just converted in the Private Key File Path on Agent. See the help on creating file transfer systems in Automate Schedule for more information.

To generate a new key that's compatible with Automate Schedule:

  1. Open PuTTYgen (PuTTY Key Generator).
  2. Select SSH-2 RSA in the Parameters section at the bottom of the page. Set the Number of bits in a generated key to "2048".
  3. Click Generate. Move your mouse over the blank area in PuTTYgen to generate randomness for the key generation. The progress bar moves as you're moving the mouse.

    After the key is generated, the public part of the key is displayed under Public key for pasting into authorized_keys file. This can be copied and pasted to the correct file on the server or copied and pasted into a text file that can be moved to the SSH server system.
  4. Type a Key comment, if you want to save one with the new key.
  5. Optionally, type a Key passpharase. Type it again to confirm it.
  6. Select Conversions > Export OpenSSH Key. This saves the private key to the correct file format for use with Automate Schedule.
  7. If there's a warning about saving without a passphrase click Yes.
  8. Save the OpenSSH key in a location that can be accessed by the Automate Schedule jobs that will be using the key. A typical location for storing private keys like this would be in the user's home directory inside an .ssh directory. For example, "c:\Users\myuser\.ssh\id_rsa".
  9. Close PuTTYgen.
  10. When creating or editing a file transfer system object in Automate Schedule, select SFTP as the Protocol, select an Authentication Type of Public/Private Key, and reference the private key you just converted in the Private Key File Path on Agent. See the help on creating file transfer systems in Automate Schedule for more information.

UNIX/Linux

UNIX and Linux users can use the OpenSSH program ssh-keygen to generate private/public keys. Private keys created by ssh-keygen can also be used on Automate Schedule Windows agents with no modification.

To generate a new key that is compatible with Automate Schedule:

  1. As the user who will be issuing SFTP requests from an Automate Schedule job on an agent, run the following command:

    ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 2048 -f /home/myuser/.ssh/mykey

    In this example, the private key will be stored in /home/myuser/.ssh/mykey and the public key will be stored in /home/myuser/.ssh/mykey.pub.
  2. Optionally set a passphrase during key generation.
  3. When creating or editing a file transfer system object in Automate Schedule, select SFTP as the Protocol, select an Authentication Type of Public/Private Key, and reference the private key you just converted in the Private Key File Path on Agent. See the help on creating file transfer systems in Automate Schedule for more information.

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Last Modified On: March 11, 2019