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Generate your own Public/Private key pair for SFTP

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edited October 4 in Help Center

As we push for more secure data transfers SFTP is used more and more.


Setting up a SFTP connection is quite simple but needs some specific parameters to have in mind. Datorama has some specificities and in the process of setting up the connection, information could be tricky to find. We’ll discuss here how you can generate yourselves a pair of public and private key to be used for this connection.

As a reminder, you have two authentication options when setting up a SFTP retrieval or exporting your reports through SFTP :
  1. User / Password authentication
  2. Private Key

What’s Private Key Authentication

This method works with the generation of a pair of keys :
  • Public Key that the IT will place in the right folder for SFTP authentication method
  • Private Key which will be kept secret by the user and will be used by Datorama
Each time a connection is attempted, the system will send the private key to the SFTP server, compare it with the public key and will match based on the encryption algorithms that have been used for the pair generation.
It’s a common methods used around IT systems and is considered a bit safer than user password as the key are randomly generated and encrypted.

What’s specific with Private Key at Datorama

Today (04/10/2021), Datorama is compatible with OpenSSH RSA method keys. Therefore, those keys need to be generated using the relevant algorithms.
  • Old OpenSSH RSA format
  • Private key must not be password protected


If your IT teams are struggling to find the right combination of keys to make this connection work, there is another solution: Generate the key yourselves

Generate you key pair

To do so, please follow this article. It’s really easy. Once you’ve saved your private and public key, send the public key to your IT department to be put in the right folder. Keep the private key and copy/paste the content in the “Private Key” space in Datorama.

If this is not sufficient, the problem does not come from the keys and need to be investigated elsewhere.
Please find here a list of items to verify in order for your connection to work :

  • User needs access to the right folder
  • Keys must be stored in places with appropriate restrictions on server side
  • Make sure to write the whole file path, not just the last folder
  • Verify user and host for typo

Error guide

Datorama Log indicates “Auth Fail“ → We reach the server but the Auth Fail without any other detail

Potential issues:
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