Log in to a Linux server with an SSH private key on Windows

This article demonstrates how to load an SSH private key into PuTTY in order to connect to your Linux server.  We downloaded Putty in our previous tutorial

  1. PuTTY: A client for managing SSH sessions
  2. PuTTYgen: A tool for managing and creating SSH key pairs

In PuTTY, you can create (and save) profiles for connections to your various SSH servers, so you don't have to remember, and continually re-type, redundant information.

  1. Start PuTTY by double-clicking its executable file or pressing the Windows key and searching for PuTTY
  2. PuTTY's initial window is the Session Category (navigate PuTTY's various categories, along the left-hand side of the window)
  3. In the Host Name field, enter the IP address of your server
  4. Enter the port number in the Port field
  5. Select SSH under Protocol;
  6. Along the left-hand side of the window, select the Data sub-category, under Connection;
  7. Specify the username that you plan on using, when logging in to the SSH server, and whose profile you're saving, in the Auto-login username field;
  8. Expand the SSH sub-category, under Connection;
  9. Highlight the Auth sub-category and click the Browse button, on the right-hand side of the PuTTY window;
  10. Browse your file system and select your previously-created private key;
  11. Return to the Session Category and enter a name for this profile in the Saved Sessions field, e.g. user@12.34.56.78 or user@hostname;
  12. Click the Save button for the Load, Save or Delete a stored session
  • ssh, publickey, putty, windows, linux
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