This version of GitHub Enterprise was discontinued on 2020-11-12. No patch releases will be made, even for critical security issues. For better performance, improved security, and new features, upgrade to the latest version of GitHub Enterprise. For help with the upgrade, contact GitHub Enterprise support.

Checking for existing SSH keys

Before you generate an SSH key, you can check to see if you have any existing SSH keys.

Note: DSA keys (SSH-DSS) are no longer supported. Existing keys will continue to function, but you cannot add new DSA keys to your GitHub Enterprise Server account.

  1. Open TerminalTerminalGit Bash.

  2. Enter ls -al ~/.ssh to see if existing SSH keys are present:

    $ ls -al ~/.ssh
    # Lists the files in your .ssh directory, if they exist
  3. Check the directory listing to see if you already have a public SSH key. By default, the filenames of the public keys are one of the following:


If you don't have an existing public and private key pair, or don't wish to use any that are available to connect to GitHub Enterprise Server, then generate a new SSH key.

If you see an existing public and private key pair listed (for example and id_rsa) that you would like to use to connect to GitHub Enterprise Server, you can add your SSH key to the ssh-agent.

Tip: If you receive an error that ~/.ssh doesn't exist, don't worry! We'll create it when we generate a new SSH key.