Rclone ssh using a key rather than password?

Just trying out the rclone over ssh, is it possible to use a key rather than a password to access a server?

Your VPS server or the cloud storage server (eg. amazon cloud drive, google clodu drive, onedrive…)?

Yes on the VPS, I was thinking of using is as remote storage, rather than using a count provider.
I already have RSA keys for ssh admin, and am signing in using sftp, with those keys, but would like to do the same using rclone, but it doesn’t appear to support them, and the server won’t all password only sign ins.

Any ideas if its possible?

It should just be a question of setting up an ssh key on the server and running ssh-agent on the client.

Here is an article I found with a bit of random searching.


My apologies for not searching first! I just opened a thread on the same thing (which you can feel free to delete - I don’t think I can):

As useful as it is, ssh-agent is not always available or it may be broken (as it largely is on macOS Sierra). Specifying a private key would at least allow maintaining the use of public key authentication in such scenarios.

Awesome, thanks. I totally missed the line ‘SSH password, leave blank to use ssh-agent’.
I going to blame jetlag this time!

Every time I SSH to my home server to kick off a backup, all I get is this:
2017/05/27 06:09:45 Failed to create file system for “$remote”: SSH_AUTH_SOCK is unset so can’t connect to ssh-agent

This is because the SSH Agent that’s started upon login on macOS is only available to that user. Remote connections such as SSH’ing in don’t get the environment variables to connect to it. To clarify, this means I can’t schedule an rclone backup to an sftp target since the ssh-agent environment variables aren’t accessible. The proper private key, however, is easy to provide.

1 Like

Argh - furthermore, Synology and some other NAS platforms don’t ship with SSH Agent at all. So it’s either store passwords in an unsecured config file or nothing.

Can you make an issue about making rclone work with an SSH key please? That suggestion has come up more than once and I don’t think it got made into an issue.