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PuTTY is a GUI ssh client for Windows. Please read the PuTTY documentation for details and specific usage for the PuTTY components.

This page assumes some basic familiarity using windows and some familiarity with ssh in general. In particular, for Windows, you should know how to modify your path and make shortcuts.

PuTTY can do everything that the Linux-style ssh can do, but it has its own syntax and clunkiness. If you want real Linux-style ssh, download the Cygwin tools and go from there.

Basic setup

Download the self-installer and install PuTTY.

Be sure to include "C:\Program Files\PuTTY" in your path if you want command line access.

PuTTY components

Most of the PuTTY components map to a Linux ssh equivalent. If you don't know what the Linux pieces do, read their man pages.

RSA private key authentication

If you are into RSA authentication for ssh, here's a way to get it working under PuTTY:
  1. Create RSA keys
    Use use ssh-keygen or Puttygen to create an SSH2 RSA key. If you use ssh-keygen you have to import and save the private with Puttygen because Putty has its own storage format.
  2. Add the public key to ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
    On all the systems you want to login to
  3. Use Pageant to copy key into memory
    Start pageant and add the key(s) you want to use for authentication. If you pass the key location to Pageant as an argument, it will start with that key automatically. Create a shortcut that does that in your startup folder if you want to save the hassle at each login. Now you can plink and pscp from the commandline without typing a password.
  4. Configure your Putty sessions to use ssh2 and RSA keys
    Under Connection fill-in Auto-login username
    Under Connection->SSH, select 2 only
    Under Connection->SSH->Auth, check Allow agent forwarding
    Under Session select SSH, Default Settings, and Save
You can now create and save other profiles filling in the name of the system to connect to, e.g. "blit", and then create desktop shortcuts appending "-load blit" to the Target command line.

Last update: April 9, 2010 11:26:35 AM
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