a lot of this has been pulled from, at the permission of ~loaf.

Signing up for a account requires you to generate a public key and a private key using a tool called SSH.


generating your public and private keys

much like the keys to your house, SSH keys prevent unknown and unwanted users from accessing a system. if you don’t have your keys, you can’t get in!

since computers aren’t houses, though, they don’t work exactly the same: instead of a key and a lock, you get two keys: a private key, which is only for you and should be kept secret, and a public key, which can be shared (and in fact must be for you to log in).

make sure to run these commands inside a unix-like environment

  1. run ssh-keygen -b 4096 -t rsa -f ~/.ssh/
  2. enter a password, or press enter if you don’t need one
  3. enter the password again, or press enter again

this process has generated two files:

sending your public key to

basically, follow the directions to join the club, and attach your public key ~/.ssh/ to the email.

more information

if this is still confusing you, peruse the information at or use their key generator.