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Using FIDO2 Auth Keys (Yubikey, Solokeys) with MacOS and FreeBSD

OpenSSH 8.2p1 with FIDO2 support was recently added to MacOS (via Homebrew) and FreeBSD (via ports/pkg).
Here’s a short how-to securely login to your FreeBSD servers via FIDO2 (Yubikey, Solokey et. al.).

Solokey FIDO2 with MacOS and FreeBSD

On your MacOS client:

Open your terminal and install libfido2 and openssh (8.2p1)

brew install openssh libfido2

Generate you ecdsa key with libfido2.
Insert your FIDO2 usb stick and run (push the auth button on your key when prompted):

ssh-keygen -t ecdsa-sk

You may need to touch your authenticator to authorize key generation.
Enter file in which to save the key (/Users/username/.ssh/id_ecdsa_sk): /Users/username/.ssh/id_ecdsa_sk
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): ############
Enter same passphrase again: ############

Your identification has been saved in /Users/username/.ssh/id_ecdsa_sk
Your public key has been saved in /Users/username/.ssh/

cat ~/.ssh/

and copy the key to your clipboard

[email protected] AAAAInNrLVk[...]ao8H== [email protected]

On you FreeBSD box:

vim ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

and add your sk-ecdsa key.

install OpenSSH portable 8.2p1

portsnap fetch extract
make install -C /usr/ports/security/openssh-portable/

alternative is to switch /etc/pkg/FreeBSD.conf from quartely to latest and run pkg install openssh-portable

To avoid locking out of your FreeBSD box you should run OpenSSH portable on a seperate port.

vim /usr/local/etc/ssh/sshd_config

Port 11022
#AddressFamily any
#ListenAddress ::

enable your portable SSH server:

sysrc openssh_enable=YES
service openssh start

Make sure you add the temporary SSH port to your pf :

vim /etc/pf.conf

Add something like:
pass in on $inet_if inet proto tcp to $inet_ip port 10022

service pf reload


Login to your server with your new Authkey.
Enter your passphrase and push button on your key.

ssh -p 11022 -i ~/.ssh/ [email protected]
Enter passphrase for key '.ssh/id_ecdsa_key':
Confirm user presence for key [...]

[email protected]:~ #

Categories: freebsd security