If I manually create a key, rather than using the gcloud CLI console, can I also configure the public key so that it will look-up the connection as this config seemingly does:

thufir@mordor:~$ cat .ssh/config 
# Google Compute Engine Section
# The following has been auto-generated by "gcloud compute config-ssh"
# to make accessing your Google Compute Engine virtual machines easier.
# To remove this blob, run:
#   gcloud compute config-ssh --remove
# You can also manually remove this blob by deleting everything from
# here until the comment that contains the string "End of Google Compute
# Engine Section".
# You should not hand-edit this section, unless you are deleting it.
Host <instance>.<location>.<project>
    HostName <ip address>
    IdentityFile /home/thufir/.ssh/google_compute_engine

# End of Google Compute Engine Section
thufir@mordor:~$ ll .ssh
total 80
drwx------  2 thufir thufir  4096 Jul 28 04:00 ./
drwx------ 69 thufir thufir 36864 Jul 28 04:03 ../
-rw-------  1 thufir thufir   799 Jul 28 04:00 config
-rw-------  1 thufir thufir  1675 Jul 28 04:00 google_compute_engine
-rw-r--r--  1 thufir thufir   395 Jul 28 04:00 google_compute_engine.pub

In particular, the HostName <ip address> line is what allows ssh <instance>.<location>.<project>?

The lookup is not established through DNS?

see sort-of related question:

How do I append a SSH key with JSON for Google cloud compute VPS?

  • 1
    Yes. But it might be possible to go through the DNS. You can verify that using dfig <instance>.<location>.<project> – Jakuje Jul 28 '16 at 12:21

In particular, the HostName line is what allows ssh <instance>.<location>.<project>?

Yes. If your ssh config has a HostName <ip address> line for a particular Host somealias stanza, then DNS is not used when you ssh somealias.

Note that it is also possible to specify a FQDN for the HostName

Host abc
    HostName alpha.beta.nonexistent.com

in which case DNS is used, but on the HostName, not on the Host alias. However, not relevant to your setup.

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