How to Use Putty with SSH Keys on Windows

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In this tutorial, we will demonstrate how to use PuTTY with SSH keys in windows.

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In this easy step by step tutorial, you will learn how to use PuTTY as an SSH client in Windows.

PuTTY is communication software available freely over the internet, which uses several network protocols including SSH. Logging in using PuTTY SSH keys allows the only those people who have a valid key pair, which further prevents any threat of unwanted hacking of data.

Step#1: Configuring PuTTY terminal

First of all, open up the PuTTY terminal. Over here, enter the host for the server which you want to connect to. Let’s enter an IP address of one of the host here and leave the port to default.

Step#2: Authorization

With that done, let’s move to the SSH option in the category portion, expand it and then click on the “Authorization” option. Here, browse for the Key File which will be automatically made when configuring this connection. Locate the file and then click on the OK button.

Step#3: Connecting to SSH Server

Once you are done with that, a terminal will open up and will prompt you for the username.

Specify the username and hit enter. After that, the connection would be established completely, enabling you to perform any tasks depending upon the permissions set by the administrator.

Step#4: Generate SSH Key

Now let’s see how we can generate the SSH keys. For that, open up the Putty key generator. Over here, click on the Generate button next to the “Generate a public/private Key pair” option, in the Actions section.

Step#5: Encrypting and saving SSH Key

You can also change the type of parameters according to your requirements, and even change the bits over here.

When prompted to generate some randomness, keep moving the cursor over the blank screen over here. This step is basically used by the application for securing the encryption. Random movements can be hard to re-generate and the sequence produced by your movements is calculated by the application.

Once the process completes, it will show you the encryption key in the preview area.
To save this key, click on the Save Private Key button and it will prompt you with a notification asking you whether you want to create a key without a passphrase. Hit yes to ignore it for now and then specify the location for the file.

Your PuTTY SSH key file would be saved with the “.ppk” extension.

And that pretty much covers the basics of using PuTTY with SSH keys in windows.

Windows and Linux Tutorials from Howtech

  • oncallmonkey
    Posted at 19:43h, 09 December

    Is there an associated video explaining how to configure the SSH server to accept this generated key?

  • unlokia
    Posted at 04:40h, 02 August

    Great, but you missed a very important step – how to add the public key to the ".ssh/authorized_hosts2" file. Watch my channel, I shall be making both these videos soon.

  • James Bell
    Posted at 02:17h, 07 October

    Quick & simple tutorial with excellent video & audio quality. Thank you.

  • Aarsha Kundurthy
    Posted at 02:25h, 24 February

    I am getting "no supported authentication methods available (server sent publickey) windows" Putty fatal error.
    How do I rectify this? public key has been configured on the server

  • Matt McP
    Posted at 02:21h, 30 June

    Amazing video! And for everyone asking about the server side:
    Create the ssh directory in your home with the authorized_keys file in that directory:
    mkdir ~/.ssh
    chmod 0700 ~/.ssh
    touch ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
    chmod 0644 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

    then add your key into the authorized_keys file:
    nano .ssh/authorized_keys

    then copy the "Public key for pasting into OpenSSH authorized_keys file"
    then right click in nano to paste, ctrl+x and save.

    Make sure you also edit the config file /etc/ssh/sshd_config to not allow password logins otherwise someone without the key will just get to use a password which is insecure unless the password is thousands of digits long

  • King Prospect
    Posted at 14:48h, 03 July

    Skipped too many steps for people who may not understand computing. You know where to find the IP but they may not know.

  • Justinas Beinorius
    Posted at 19:39h, 15 January

    Well diction.

  • King David
    Posted at 03:24h, 24 February

    Totally retarded!… this will never work!… The essential step where the public key has to be deposited on the server side is missing!

  • Astrologers Heaven
    Posted at 12:30h, 07 March

    Thanks a lot. Helped a lot. 🙂