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I would like to disable strict host key checking in ssh for ubuntu 11.04. How to do it?

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Hi karthick87, I hope you understand the security implications of making that change ;) –  bodhi.zazen Dec 13 '11 at 16:18
It should be noted however, that you want to know if a host key has changed. That is a big red flag that someone may be spoofing the host. So UserKnownHostFile /dev/null is a really bad idea. –  user274148 Apr 25 '14 at 13:48
SSH is used not only for remote connections, you know. All hosts I'm connecting to are in heap on my table and share the same IP, so I always have the new host warning. –  Barafu Albino Sep 10 '14 at 8:34

4 Answers 4

up vote 48 down vote accepted

In your ~/.ssh/config (if this file doesn't exist, just create it):

Host *
    StrictHostKeyChecking no

This will turn it off for all hosts you connect to. You can replace the * with a hostname pattern if you only want it to apply to some hosts.

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There is no file named config in my home directory. –  karthick87 Dec 14 '11 at 14:40
Make one - the entire contents of the file are in my quote above. Note it's in the .ssh subdirectory of your homedir as well. –  Caesium Dec 14 '11 at 14:44

Rather than adding it to your ~/.ssh/config file for all Host *, it would be a safer to specify a particular host.

You can also pass a parameter on the command-line like this:

ssh -o StrictHostKeyChecking=no yourHardenedHost.com
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Note that you generally only need to do this once per host since it says this the first time: Warning: Permanently added 'frxxx.blaps.net,' (RSA) to the list of known hosts. –  MarkHu Jul 24 '13 at 0:49
That won't work. It should be ssh -o UserKnownHostsFile=/dev/null instead. –  qwertzguy Oct 29 '14 at 2:51

I don't have the rep yet to comment above - but it's worth pointing out:

StrictHostKeyChecking no

Will mean hostkeys are still added to .ssh/known_hosts - you just won't be prompted about whether you trust them, but should hosts change I'm willing to bet you'll get the big warning about it. You can work around this problem by adding another parameter:

UserKnownHostsFile /dev/null

This will add all these "newly discovered" hosts to the trash bin. If a host key changes, no troubles.

I would be remiss not to mention that circumventing these warnings on hostkeys has obvious security ramifications - you should be careful that you're doing it for the right reasons & that what you're connecting to actually is what you mean to connect to and not a malicious host.

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You're correct, you do get the big warning –  Freedom_Ben Jan 20 '14 at 17:35
I think this is the right answer. This works well for connecting to hosts on a private local network. –  Stephen Davis Jan 14 at 14:39

FYI. I prefer to disable host checking just when using cssh.

alias cssh='cssh -o "-o StrictHostKeyChecking=no -o UserKnownHostsFile=/dev/null"'
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cssh or ssh? –  kenorb Jan 16 '14 at 14:29
Maybe he uses cssh.sourceforge.net –  MarkHu Jan 31 '14 at 3:22

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