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Public Key Authentication in Serv-U

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Created by Dhalia Turiaga, last modified by Albert.Cerezo on Mar 08, 2019

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Serv-U MFT Server supports the powerful option to authenticate SFTP users using Public Key Authentication. This method of authentication allows users to connect using only a private key file along with a public key stored in Serv-U and eliminates the need to remember a username and a password when logging in.


Public Key authentication is also a preferred authentication of some companies. Serv-U can also generate a key pair (public and private) and can also accept a key generated by a 3rd party tool like Puttygen and etc. The key pair format should (.pub) for the public key and (.key) for the private key.



Serv-U MFT version 15


  1. Open Serv-U management console.
  2. Open the user account which will authenticate via private key.
  3. In the User Information tab, click Manage Keys.
  4. Click Create Key if you want to generate it from Serv-U.
  5. Click Add Key if you already have the key or generated from another key generator.
  6. Click Close once done.
  7. In the Limits & Settings tab, select the "Password" limit type.
  8. Set the "SSH Authentication Type" to "Public Key Only.
  9. Click Save.


Further options are also available.

  • If you want to require users to authenticate using both Password and Key options, leave the SSH Authentication Type set to "Password and Public Key" to require both
  • To require only one option, choose "Password or Public Key".


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