The ESC key, iOS and the Apple Smart Keybaord

I have remote Linux servers that I want to manage. There are many apps in the App Store for doing this. I am using one of the top apps, Prompt. Prompt is a full functional terminal app supporting username/password logins as well as SSH key logins.

PasswordAuthentication no

PubkeyAuthentication yes

ChallengeResponseAuthentication no

I configured SSH on my Linux servers to disable password login for root and allow public key authentication only. I can access the Linux console from the Digital Ocean web front end (two-factor auth). I generate a public SSH key in Prompt and copy to clipboard.

I need to add the public SSH key for the iPad Pro to the .ssh/authorized_keys file. I access my Linux console in the DO web front end and open the authorize_keys files in Vim. I paste in the public key but … neither the Apple Smart Keyboard, nor the default iOS keyboard have an escape key.

Prompt (and the many other terminal apps in the App Store) provide a virtual ESC key but I can’t use Prompt to access my servers until I add the iPad Pro SSH key to the server.


It seems the only thing I can do is to enable password logins, login with Prompt, add the SSH key, then disable password logins.

I visited the Apple Support forums and poked around the web … but I found more questions than answers.

The iPad Pro is marketed as being the iPad for professionals but I think this mostly applies to non-technical professionals.

  • Prompt 2.67

  • iOS 12.01

  • 10.5″ iPad Pro

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