Programming language: Go
License: MIT License
Latest version: v0.8.1

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SKM is a simple and powerful SSH Keys Manager. It helps you to manage your multiple SSH keys easily!


  • Create, List, Delete your SSH key(s)
  • Manage all your SSH keys by alias names
  • Choose and set a default SSH key
  • Display public key via alias name
  • Copy default SSH key to a remote host
  • Rename SSH key alias name
  • Backup and restore all your SSH keys
  • Prompt UI for SSH key selection
  • Customized SSH key store path



brew tap timothyye/tap
brew install timothyye/tap/skm

Using Go

go get github.com/TimothyYe/skm/cmd/skm

Manual Installation

Download it from releases and extact it to /usr/bin or your PATH directory.


% skm

SKM V0.8.1

   SKM - Manage your multiple SSH keys easily

   skm [global options] command [command options] [arguments...]


     init, i      Initialize SSH keys store for the first time usage.
     create, c    Create a new SSH key.
     ls, l        List all the available SSH keys.
     use, u       Set specific SSH key as default by its alias name.
     delete, d    Delete specific SSH key by alias name.
     rename, rn   Rename SSH key alias name to a new one.
     copy, cp     Copy current SSH public key to a remote host.
     display, dp  Display the current SSH public key or specific SSH public key by alias name.
     backup, b    Backup all SSH keys to an archive file.
     restore, r   Restore SSH keys from an existing archive file.
     cache        Add your SSH to SSH agent cache via alias name.
     help, h      Shows a list of commands or help for one command.

   --store-path value   Path where SKM should store its profiles (default: "/Users/timothy/.skm")
   --ssh-path value     Path to a .ssh folder (default: "/Users/timothy/.ssh")
   --restic-path value  Path to the restic binary
   --help, -h           show help
   --version, -v        print the version

For the first time use

You should initialize the SSH key store for the first time use:

% skm init

✔ SSH key store initialized!

So, where are my SSH keys? SKM will create SSH key store at $HOME/.skm and put all the SSH keys in it.

NOTE: If you already have id_rsa & id_rsa.pub key pairs in $HOME/.ssh, SKM will move them to $HOME/.skm/default

Create a new SSH key

NOTE: Currently ONLY RSA and ED25519 keys are supported!

skm create prod -C "[email protected]"

Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:
Your identification has been saved in /Users/timothy/.skm/prod/id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /Users/timothy/.skm/prod/id_rsa.pub.
✔ SSH key [prod] created!

List SSH keys

% skm ls

✔ Found 3 SSH key(s)!

->      default

Set default SSH key

% skm use dev
Now using SSH key: dev

Prompt UI for key selection

You can just type skm use, then a prompt UI will help you to choose the right SSH key:

Display public key

% skm display

Or display specific SSH public key by alias name:

% skm display prod

Delete a SSH key

% skm delete prod

Please confirm to delete SSH key [prod] [y/n]: y
✔ SSH key [prod] deleted!

Copy SSH public key to a remote host

% skm cp [email protected]

/usr/bin/ssh-copy-id: INFO: Source of key(s) to be installed: "/Users/timothy/.skm/default/id_rsa.pub"
/usr/bin/ssh-copy-id: INFO: attempting to log in with the new key(s), to filter out any that are already installed
/usr/bin/ssh-copy-id: INFO: 1 key(s) remain to be installed -- if you are prompted now it is to install the new keys
[email protected]'s password:

Number of key(s) added:        1

Now try logging into the machine, with:   "ssh '[email protected]'"
and check to make sure that only the key(s) you wanted were added.

✔  Current SSH key already copied to remote host

Rename a SSH key with a new alias name

% skm rn test tmp
✔  SSH key [test] renamed to [tmp]

Backup SSH keys

Backup all your SSH keys to $HOME directory by default.

% skm backup

a .
a ./test
a ./default
a ./dev
a ./dev/id_rsa
a ./dev/id_rsa.pub
a ./default/id_rsa
a ./default/id_rsa.pub
a ./test/id_rsa
a ./test/id_rsa.pub

✔  All SSH keys backup to: /Users/timothy/skm-20171016170707.tar

If you have restic installed then you can also use that to create backups of your SKM store:

# First, you need a password for your repository
% if [[ ! -f ~/.skm-backups.passwd ]]; then
%     openssl rand -hex 64 > ~/.skm-backups.passwd
% fi

% skm backup --restic
repository ... opened successfully, password is correct

Files:           0 new,     1 changed,     4 unmodified
Dirs:            0 new,     0 changed,     0 unmodified
Added to the repo: 1.179 KiB

processed 5 files, 2.593 KiB in 0:00
snapshot $SNAPSHOT saved
✔  Backup to /Users/$USER/.skm-backups complete

Restore SSH keys

% skm restore ~/skm-20171016172828.tar.gz                                                                                           
x ./
x ./test/
x ./default/
x ./dev/
x ./dev/id_rsa
x ./dev/id_rsa.pub
x ./default/._id_rsa
x ./default/id_rsa
x ./default/._id_rsa.pub
x ./default/id_rsa.pub
x ./test/id_rsa
x ./test/id_rsa.pub

✔  All SSH keys restored to /Users/timothy/.skm

Again, SKM also supports restic to create and restore backups:

% skm restore --restic --restic-snapshot $SNAPSHOT
repository $REPO opened successfully, password is correct
restoring <Snapshot $SNAPSHOT of [/Users/$USER/.skm] at 2018-10-03 19:40:33.333130348 +0200 CEST by [email protected]$HOST> to /Users/$USER/.skm
✔  Backup restored to /Users/$USER/.skm

Integrate with SSH agent

You can use cache command to cache your SSH key into SSH agent's cache via SSH alias name.

Cache your SSH key

λ tim [~/]
→ skm cache --add my                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Enter passphrase for /Users/timothy/.skm/my/id_rsa:
Identity added: /Users/timothy/.skm/my/id_rsa (/Users/timothy/.skm/my/id_rsa)
✔  SSH key [my] already added into cache

Remove your SSH key from cache

λ tim [~/]
→ ./skm cache --del my                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Identity removed: /Users/timothy/.skm/my/id_rsa (MyKEY)
✔  SSH key [my] removed from cache

List your cached SSH keys from SSH agent

λ tim [~/]
→ ./skm cache --list                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
2048 SHA256:qAVcwc0tdUOCjH3sTskwxAmfMQiL2sKtfPBXFnUoZHQ /Users/timothy/.skm/my/id_rsa (RSA)

Customized SSH key store path

By default, SKM uses $HOME/.skm as the default path of SSH key store. You can define your customized in your ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc by adding:


Hook mechanism

Edit and place a executable file named hook at the specified key directory, for example:


This hook file can be both an executable binary file or an executable script file.

SKM will call this hook file after switching default SSH key to it, you can do some stuff in this hook file.

For example, if you want to use different git username & email after you switch to use a different SSH key, you can create one hook file, and put shell commands in it:

git config --global user.name "YourNewName"
git config --global user.email "[email protected]"

Then make this hook file executable:

chmod +x hook

SKM will call this hook file and change git global settings for you!


MIT License
996ICU License

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the skm README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.