I have a local workstation Running Windows called myDesktop where I'm logged on with user name 'windowsLogin', and a Linux target server called myLinux, where I must ssh-log with user 'linuxLogin'.

From MobaXterm running on the Windows machine, I can generate a key and copy it to myLinux:

local$ /bin/ssh-keygen
local$ cat .ssh/id_rsa.pub |ssh myLinux 'cat >> .ssh/authorized_keys'
local$ ssh myLinux      <========= OK fine it worked !

This id_rsa.pub contains now a line ending up with "windowsLogin@MYDESKTOP".

How do I achieve the same with putty as that stills asks me for a password, i.e. password of user specified in putty saved session under Connection -> Data in field 'Auto-login username' (which is different from my OS desktop 'windowsLogin')...

I already tried:

  • replacing the auto-login user name with my linuxLogin
  • to click 'Use system username (Seb FamilyName)' by leaving the field 'Auto-login username' empty...
  • copying the public key generated by puttygen on myLInux in .ssh/authrorized_keys (string ending up with "rsa-key-20180111")

And none of those work...

Is it possible to get putty working with an ssh key to avoid typing a password?

  • 1
    Putty needs its key in a different format - meinit.nl/using-your-openssh-private-key-in-putty – ivanivan Jan 11 '18 at 21:54
  • 2
    Unless I'm misunderstanding your question, yes it's perfectly possible. You can either import/convert the existing OpenSSH private key into PuTTY's PPK format using puttygen, or generate a new keypair using puttygen and copy the OpenSSH-compatible public key to the server's ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file – steeldriver Jan 11 '18 at 21:55
  • "Is it really possible to get putty working with ssh key to avoid typing a password all the while? " Yes, it is. It's been working fine for something over 15 years now with many versions of windows on one side and linux/hpux/solaris/*bsd on the other. This reads more as a rant than a focused question appropriate for this site. – user4556274 Jan 11 '18 at 23:03

Yes, you can use key pair authentication with PuTTY. However, PuTTY expects a different format for private key files. Use the included PuTTYgen program to convert the private key you generated with ssh-keygen to one PuTTY can use (or alternatively generate a new keypair for your Windows box to use with PuTTY).

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