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How to connect to Linux/Unix system from Windows using SSH

To successfully connect to a Linux/Unix system, you need the following software products: PuTTY, PuTTYgen, WinSCP.

Creating SSH keys with PuTTYgen

To create an SSH RSA key pair with PuTTYgen:

  1. Start PuTTYgen.
  2. Click Generate. By default, PuTTYgen generates a 2048-bit SSH-2 RSA key.
  3. Move the mouse around in the blank area to provide randomness for the key.
  4. After the public key is generated, optionally enter and confirm a passphrase. You will be prompted for the passphrase when you authenticate to the VM with your private SSH key. Without a passphrase, if someone obtains your private key, they can sign in to any VM or service that uses that key. We recommend you create a passphrase. However, if you forget the passphrase, there is no way to recover it.
  5. The public key is displayed at the top of the window. You can select Save public key to save a copy to your computer:

Save PuTTY public key file

  1. Optionally, to save the private key in the PuTTy private key format (.ppk file), select Save private key

Save PuTTY private key file

If you want to save the private key in the OpenSSH format (the private key format used by many SSH clients), select Conversions > Export OpenSSH key.

Importing the public SSH key into Linux server with WinSCP

  1. Start WinSCP.
  2. Connect to the target Linux server.
  3. Run the Session > Install Public Key into Server command from the menu. As a result, the public key is installed.

Checking the connection using public key authentication

How to connect using PuTTY:

  1. Start PuTTY.
  2. Fill in the hostname or IP address:


  1. Select the Connection > SSH > Auth category. Browse to and select your PuTTY private key (.ppk file):


  1. Click Open to connect to your VM.
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