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Is this possible?
Locally as the 'robert' user, I created the key through:
ssh-keygen -t rsa
Then, I used cat to put the id_rsa.pub into the authorized_keys file located in the .ssh directory of 'webadmin' on the remote server.
For some most-likely obvious reason, this did not work as a password was still required to login.
many thanks in advance
If you are using ssh2 then it's authorized_keys2, not authorized_keys.
Actually, that's not quite right. authorized_keys2 is simply an ADDITIONAL file that is checked. It has nothing to do with whether you are using SSH1 or SSH2.
I think the idea is so that you can have a site-wide file that you copy or create a link to, then put user-specific keys in authorized_keys2. That's the way I use it, anyway, on my VPS account.
My VPS host requires access for support. Their key is in authorized_keys. I put my key(s) in authorzied_keys2.