generating a key pair for openssh in windows

this is old and i duno if it's accurate anymore. good luck

this tutorial uses puttygen, available at the main putty website. it also works for the various putty forks like puttytray.

ssh authentication with rsa key pairs works by generating one private key, which you store somewhere safe on a private pc, and one public key, which you store in the .ssh directory under your home directory. it is best to generate a new key pair for every device you use to connect, to protect from loss or theft.

first click generate.

then wave your mouse around in this little area until the green bar makes it to the right.

after the keys have been generated, you can either copy and paste the text from the top box into your authorized_keys file, or save a copy with the "save public key" button.

next you should encrypt your private key using a password. although this step is not required, DO IT. notice those are the only caps on the page. if your key is ever stolen, perhaps one saved to your cell phone for remote access, someone could wreak havoc on your system long before you have time to notice..

lastly i suggest you save a copy of both your public and private keys. the private one because you have to anyways, and the public one because when you close puttygen, you won't be able to retrieve it again. don't save the private key anywhere people could get ahold of it.

lastly, when you create a new session in putty, navigate to


and provide the location of your private key file.

when you connect, you will either be asked to provide the password you chose, or you will be connected immediately. be sure to test it thoroughly before you disable password authentication in openssh!

o aside
yes, it's possible to use the same private and public key for multiple machines. don't do it. don't. do. it. you're putting yours (and perhaps other's) machines at risk.

good luck in the kitchen!

(c) 2015 Alexander Grotewohl
yeah yeah, my name is in caps too