secsh-keyscan, ssh-keyscan

gather ssh public keys 



secsh-keyscan [-cvDH46] [-p port] [-T timeout] [-t type] [-f file] [host|addrlist namelist] [...]

ssh-keyscan [-cvDH46] [-p port] [-T timeout] [-t type] [-f file] [host|addrlist namelist] [...]


secsh-keyscan is a utility for gathering the public ssh host keys of a number of hosts. It was designed to aid in building and verifying ssh_known_hosts files. secsh-keyscan provides a minimal interface suitable for use by shell and perl scripts.

secsh-keyscan uses non-blocking socket I/O to contact as many hosts as possible in parallel, so it is very efficient. The keys from a domain of 1,000 hosts can be collected in tens of seconds, even when some of those hosts are down or do not run ssh. For scanning, you do not need login access to the machines you are scanning, nor does the scanning process involve any encryption.

You can also call secsh-keyscan as ssh-keyscan.


If a ssh_known_hosts file is constructed using secsh-keyscan without verifying the keys, users will be vulnerable to attacks. On the other hand, if the security model allows such a risk, ssh-keyscan can help you detect tampered keyfiles or man in the middle attacks which have begun after the ssh_known_hosts file was created.



Request certificates from target hosts instead of plain keys.


Print keys found as SSHFP DNS records. The default is to print keys in a format usable as a secsh known_hosts file.

-f file 

Reads hosts or addrlist namelist pairs from this file, one per line. If - is supplied instead of a file name, secsh-keyscan will read from the standard input. Input is expected in the format:,,name,,n,,


Hashes all hostnames and addresses in the output. Hashed names may be used normally by secsh and secshd, but they do not reveal identifying information should the file's contents be disclosed.

-p port 

Specifies the port to connect to on the remote host.

-T timeout 

Sets the timeout for connection attempts. If timeout seconds have elapsed since a connection was initiated to a host or since the last time anything was read from that host, then the connection is closed and the host in question considered unavailable. Default is 5 seconds.

-t type 

Specifies the type of the key to fetch from the scanned hosts. The possible values are dsa, ecdsa, ed25519 or rsa. Multiple values may be specified by separating them with commas. The default to fetch is rsa, ecdsa, and ed25519.


(Verbose mode.) Print debugging messages about progress.


Forces ssh-keyscan to use IPv4 addresses.


Forces ssh-keyscan to use IPv6 addresses.


Print the RSA1 host key for machine hostname:

secsh-keyscan -t rsa hostname

Find all hosts from the file ssh_hosts which have new or different keys from those in the sorted file ssh_known_hosts:

secsh-keyscan -t rsa,dsa,ecdsa,ed25519 -f ssh_hosts | \
	sort -u - ssh_known_hosts | diff ssh_known_hosts -




It generates "Connection closed by remote host" messages on the consoles of all the machines it scans if the server is older than version 2.9. This is because it opens a connection to the ssh port, reads the public key, and drops the connection as soon as it gets the key.


David Mazieres <> wrote the initial version, and Wayne Davison <> added support for protocol version 2.


All UNIX systems. Windows 8.1. Windows Server 2012 R2. Windows 10. Windows Server 2016. Windows Server 2019. Windows 11. Windows Server 2022.


PTC MKS Toolkit for System Administrators
PTC MKS Toolkit for Developers
PTC MKS Toolkit for Interoperability
PTC MKS Toolkit for Professional Developers
PTC MKS Toolkit for Professional Developers 64-Bit Edition
PTC MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers
PTC MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers 64-Bit Edition


secsh, secshd

PTC MKS Toolkit Connectivity Solutions Guide

PTC MKS Toolkit 10.4 Documentation Build 39.