Monday, February 21, 2011



Passwordless logins with SSH

You can SSH without using a password by generating a private/public key pair. Bear with me! The public key resides on the computer you are connecting to (server) and is compared with your private key on the computer you are connecting from (client).

The keys could be generated anyway, but for this example we will be generating them on the client computer:

$ ssh-keygen -t dsa
Generating public/private dsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/Users/stocksy/.ssh/id_dsa):
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): wxyz
Enter same passphrase again: wxyz

The ssh-keygen programme has just created two DSA (-t dsa specifies this) keys on your Mac. id_dsa is the private key and is the public key. You need to copy the public key, ~/.ssh/ from the client to ~/.ssh/authorized_keys2 on the server using scp:

scp [source] [user]@[]:[destination]

For example:

iMac:~ stocksy$ scp ~/.ssh/ james@

Important: Only ever copy the public key to other machines. The private key, as the name suggests must be kept secret, so only store it on computers you know are secure.

If you have several clients you want to connect to the server, you'll need to combine all the keys from each machine into one authorized_keys2 file. I would suggest that the best way to do this is to copy all the files into a temporary directory on the server, so that you have something like

Power-Mac:~/Desktop/ssh jamen$ ls id_dsa.2 id_dsa.3

Then, combine them like so:

Power-Mac:~/Desktop/ssh jamen$ cat > authorized_keys2

cp authorized_keys2 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys2

Ok, you're ready to test your keys! Open a fresh terminal on your client and ssh to your server as above. It should ask you for the passphrase you provided for the key rather than the password of you account on the machine. The next step is to use SSHKeychain to hold this passphrase in the Apple Keychain.

Download SSHKeychain, mount the .dmg and drag sshkeychain to /Applications. Run SSHKeychain from the Finder and open its preferences. In the 'general' tab, set it to show in the Status Bar. In the 'security' tab, set 'On client connection' to 'Add keys to agent'. In the 'environment', tick 'Manage global environment variables'. From the menu bar Select 'Agent|Add All Keys'. Enter the passphrase you specified when you did ssh-keygen -t dsa and tick 'Add to keychain'.

Now, add /Applications/SSHKeychain to Login items in System Preferences -> Accounts.

Log out and back in to your account on the client, open a terminal and ssh to your server, it should not ask for a password!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Belated Update...

Well it's been far too long since my last post and a fair amount has happened in the last 3 months. We received our ITA (Invitation To Apply) on 25 June, 1 day before we went on a last visit to Europe (well certainly the last for a while assuming we do get in to NZ. As a result the earliest date we could get for our medicals was Friday 18th July. Since the rest of our paperwork was already done we just had to wait.

The medical day finally arrived and off the 4 of us went to a mad doc in Rosebank. He was great but a bit eccentric. The whole process took nearly 3 hours - way too long with a 2.9 yo and a 10 month old in tow. I was the only one with any funnies on my medical, all because of a motor bike prang nearly 20 years ago and a small matter of some lung scarring. Extra TB tests were ordered and after a couple of days the results showed nothing to worry about. Now we just have to hope the NZ medical assessor sees things the same way.

The ITA was eventually sent off on 31 July. Then the waiting game began again. The whole PR process consists of 90% waiting and 10% frantic running around searching for obscur documents or infomation.

On the 13th August the next milestone was arrived at. Our credit card was debited £685 - ouch, but good news I guess. This was final confirmation for me that they had now started the final part of the PR process. Then more waiting.

Finally we've just heard that we have now been assigned a case officer. This is the person that now goes though all the papers we've submitted and makes a decision on whether we'll be allowed in. One thing that is fairly unique to South Africa applicant is that each one that doesn't already hold an offer of employment from an NZ company has to go through a face-to-face interview. The objective is to ascertain the likelihood of us settling in NZ. Are we employable, have we done our research, what are our expectations etc. They come out to SA once or twice a year to perform these interviews. Since we are on a fixed time line, I'm reluctant to wait for the next round, so I have made contact with my case officer requesting if it would be possible to be interview in London. She has said it will be, so it looks like I'm off to London for a jollie at the end of the month.

So now it's more waiting and preparing for whatever questions they could throw at me. Also still waiting for confirmation that the doc's are happy with our medical. My thumbs are aching from all the holding.

The next update will probably only be after my interview, so hold thumbs for me...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Decision Successfull

Well, after a long 2 month wait, what a pleasant way to start the week. Got a call this morning from our Immigration consultant saying he'd just checked and our application status has now changed to "Decision Successful". Basically, this means that as long as all is well with our medicals and police clearances, and that we haven't told any fibs on our initial application, we should get residence within the next couple of months.

Now the paper chase begins! Woohoo!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A couple of videos

A quick post today of a couple of NZ videos to keep us motivated...



Monday, June 9, 2008

The immigration process so far

Well I'll try to be brief (something I'm not famous for). We started seriously looking at NZ late last year due to a number of changes in our circumstances. We had considered going for the last 10 years, but after each visit to the awesome country, on our return we still felt we had it good here in sunny SA. Well, I guess we feel that has changed lately.

This change is in part due to the arrival of 2 little boys that have kinda changed our outlook on life. I am the first to admit that our lives were pretty much driven by the need to make tonnes of cash so that we could enjoy our rather extravagant hobbies - Flying for me, and horses for Sue. While these hobbies haven't changed the need to also look after Matt and Jem, and their futures has shifted the priority list somewhat.

Anyway, back to being brief... We started the process by contacting an agent that had successfully helped a flying mate and his wife move to NZ last year. These agents are pricey, but if you are busy with other things in your life (like 2 boys and hobbies) and can spare the cash, I still believe they are worth it. Let's see if we still feel the same once the immigration process is concluded. After an initial meeting to discuss our options and how much chance we had to gain PR (Permanent
Residence), we decided to bite the bullet and start the process. The first step is to submit an EOI (Expression or Interest). You can do this on-line or have an agent do it. Basically you tell them everything about you, your qualifications, work experience, ages, family members - basically everything about you and your life. This will then give you a score, rating your application. Anything over 140 automatically gets selected. Anything under 100 will never get selected (unless they change the points requirements). You get points for a job offer (something nearly impossible to get without being in NZ), work experience, qualifications, family members already in NZ, age, and lots of other criteria. We have been lucky enough to get 130 points, so when our agent finally submitted the EOI on 16 April, we were selected at the next fortnightly selection on 23 April.

In parallel to the above, we also needed to get my degree recognised by NZQA (New Zealand Qualification Authority). For an extra $150NZ they will fast track the application. After a couple of weeks they had completed a pre-assessment which gave us a Level 7 (Honours degree type level). Once this was received it was added to the EOI and it is kinda needed before you can submit if you want them to recognise the qualification and give you the points. The full assessment took nearly 2 months and resulted in a fancy letter confirming that I didn't buy my degree from one of the many on-line universities...

That, in a proverbial nutshell, is where we stand now. We expect to receive an ITA (Invitation to Apply) within the next month, and then we have to submitted documentary evidence supporting the claims we have made in our EOI. Luckily, by using an agent, we believe we already have all this gathered. It took a good 2 months to track down things like matric certificates and photo's proving we are one big happy family. It can be quite tedious!

I will post more as soon as I have any more news or more likely as I remember more of the process.

Here's holding thumbs we'll be in NZ in early 2009!


So here I am joining the world of bloggers. Who know's how I will end up using this, but for now I plan to use it to track our process and progress of immigrating to New Zealand. I have no idea if this will be an hourly, daily, weekly or infrequent excercice - only time will tell.

Anyway, feel free to comment or contribute. I will try and check in here regularly.