I am looking at what is being written about rssh fingerprints and randomart with some confusion.

This comes down to two questions which I think most people have but which descriptions seem to squirm around.

  • Do I need to save the fingerprint and/or randomart someplace in case I need them in the future?
  • What are detailed use cases of these objects?
  • 1
    This has been explained here. If not enough then a more detailed description what's confusing you would help avoiding repetition. – techraf Aug 15 '16 at 7:23

A fingerprint of the (remote) host key is there to verify that you are talking to the correct remote machine. Fingerprints are hard to remember though. That's where random art comes into play. The idea is that humans can tell much easier if two images are different than if two hexadecimal strings are different. If the remote host key changes all of the sudden you can tell by the different image that maybe something fishy is in the works.

To activate to be shown the random art of the remote machine on login, add VisualHostKey=yes to your .ssh/config file

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