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User Management


Introduced in 0.7.0

ssh-keys:add <name> [/path/to/key]                 # Add a new public key by pipe or path
ssh-keys:list [--format text|json] [<name>]        # List of all authorized Dokku public ssh keys
ssh-keys:remove [--fingerprint fingerprint|<name>] # Remove SSH public key by name

When pushing to Dokku, SSH key-based authorization is the preferred authentication method, for ease of use and increased security.

Users in Dokku are managed via the ~/dokku/.ssh/authorized_keys file. It is highly recommended that you follow the steps below to manage users on a Dokku server.


Users of older versions of Dokku may use the sshcommand binary to manage keys instead of the ssh-keys plugin. Please refer to the Dokku documentation for your version for more details.


Listing SSH keys

You can use the ssh-keys:list command to show all configured SSH keys.

dokku ssh-keys:list
SHA256:ABC123ABC123+abc123abc123Zabc123abcZ123abc NAME="admin" SSHCOMMAND_ALLOWED_KEYS="no-agent-forwarding,no-user-rc,no-X11-forwarding,no-port-forwarding"

The output contains the following information:

  • SSH Key Fingerprint.
  • The KEY_NAME.
  • A comma separated list of SSH options under the SSHCOMMAND_ALLOWED_KEYS name.


Introduced in 0.20.2

The keys for a specific user may be listed by specifying a second argument to the ssh-keys:list command:

dokku ssh-keys:list admin


Introduced in 0.22.3

The output format may be specified via the --format flag. Supported values include json and text.

dokku ssh-keys:list --format json

This can additionally be used to filter to keys for a particular user:

dokku ssh-keys:list --format json admin

Adding SSH keys

You can add your public key to Dokku with the ssh-keys:add command. The path specified must contain your desired public ssh key contents and must exist on the server. Any special characters - such as ~ - are interpreted under the dokku user context. The output will be the fingerprint of the SSH key:

dokku ssh-keys:add KEY_NAME path/to/

KEY_NAME is the name you want to use to refer to this particular key. Including the word admin in the name will grant the user privileges to add additional keys remotely.


KEY_NAME is a unique name which is used to identify public keys. Attempting to re-use a key name will result in an error. The SSH (Git) user is always dokku, as this is the system user that the dokku binary uses to perform all its actions.

Alternatively, you may pipe the contents of your ssh key via cat or echo into the ssh-keys:add command instead of specifying a path to the ssh key:

echo "$CONTENTS_OF_YOUR_PUBLIC_SSH_KEY_HERE" | dokku ssh-keys:add KEY_NAME
cat path/to/ | dokku ssh-keys:add KEY_NAME

Admin users and root can add keys remotely by specifying the dokku bin on their ssh command:

cat ~/.ssh/ | ssh dokku ssh-keys:add KEY_NAME

If you are using the Vagrant installation, you can also use the make vagrant-acl-add target to add your public key to Dokku (it will use your host username as the USER):

cat ~/.ssh/ | make vagrant-acl-add

Removing SSH keys

As key names are unique, they can be used to remove a public SSH key.

dokku ssh-keys:remove KEY_NAME

An SSH Key can also be removed by fingerprint.

dokku ssh-keys:remove --fingerprint FINGERPRINT

Scoping commands to specific users

Support for scoping commands to specific users can be added through plugins that take advantage of the user-auth plugin trigger to handle command authorization. See also the list of community-provided plugins.

Granting other Unix user accounts Dokku access

Any Unix user account which belongs to the sudo Unix group can run Dokku. However, you may want to give them Dokku access but not full sudo privileges.

To allow other Unix user accounts to be able to run Dokku commands, without giving them full sudo access, modify your sudoers configuration.

Use visudo /etc/sudoers.d/dokku-users, or visudo /etc/sudoers to add the following line:

%dokku ALL=(ALL:ALL) NOPASSWD:SETENV: /usr/bin/dokku