Moving Visual Studio Cross Platform Development to a new Machine

I upgraded my workstation for the holidays and needed to get things moved over as easily as possible.

In Visual Studio, under the tools menu, there’s an option to be able to Import and Export Settings… which got me an output file that made my new installation look mostly like my old installation.

What it didn’t transfer was the details of my connections to my Raspberry Pi devices. The following image is after I managed to get a working connection. It didn’t have anything displayed under Default Host Name etc.

I’d already run ssh-keygen on my new machine, creating a default security key on the local machine. I’d already connected via ssh to each of the hosts I regularly work on and imported the public key into the authorized_keys file and verified all appeared working.

After entering all of the details in the dialog box I got a rather unhelpful set of red boxes indicating that something had gone wrong. ( and are the same host, wired and Wi-Fi, on my local network, and I may use them interchangeably for images and text here)

Searching on the web I found that there is a console program that will configure the same thing, and I assumed correctly that I might get more descriptive error messages using the console than I was getting here.

** Visual Studio 2022 Developer Command Prompt v17.4.2
** Copyright (c) 2022 Microsoft Corporation

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\2022\Enterprise>ConnectionManager.exe add visualstudio@ --privatekey C:\Users\Wim\.ssh\id_rsa
Enter password (leave blank for no password):
Verifying connection with remote system.
Failed to add connection: Private key is invalid or is encrypted and no passphrase was given

I knew that the keys were good because I was using them to connect via SSH. I did some digging and realized that the physical file sizes on the new machine are larger than on the old machine. Looking at the length of the public keys themselves, I realized that my old keys were 2048 bits long, and the newly generated ones are 3072. I tried explicitly generating a new 2048 bit key with the command ssh-keygen -f id_rsa_2048 -b 2048 and using it, but I got similar results to what I was getting before. Finally, I copied my public and private key from the old machine and renamed them specifically for this usage on this machine.

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\2022\Enterprise>ConnectionManager.exe add visualstudio@ --privatekey C:\Users\Wim\.ssh\id_rsa_visualstudio
Enter password (leave blank for no password):
Verifying connection with remote system.
The authenticity of host '' can't be established.
ecdsa-sha2-nistp256 key fingerprint is SHA256:DGa1mVbMm3voQwVwtg06xHkANgs04zST9RP8CMfSoXY.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Successfully added connection '1748855142; (username=visualstudio, port=22, authentication=PrivateKey)'.

That created the connection properly in Visual Studio. I went back into the Visual Studio interface, Tools->Options->Cross Platform->Connection Manager->Remote Headers Intellisense Manager and updated the headers and everything appears to be working now.

I don’t know why the keys I generated using the software on my new machine didn’t work, even when I specified the same number of bits.


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