SSH on Windows

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Nederlandse versie

When accessing a unix/linux server, you shoud preferably use SSH (secure shell). SSH encrypts your data to prevent sniffing. Many servers currently are only accessible through SSH, and no longer through unsecure channels such as telnet.

A good SSH client for Windows systems is PuTTY. Download the distribution file (choose the file putty-xxxx-installer.exe for a complete installation) and install PuTTY.

Basic use of PuTTY

SSH uses so-called public and private keys to authenticate and authorise, but it can be used without keys. Start PuTTY, enter the host name, choose SSH for protocol and activate the connection by clicking Open. You will be prompted for a user name and password to open the connection.

The PuTTY manual is accessible from the PuTTY main screen, or via Programs > PuTTY > PuTTY Manual. The PuTTY site also offers on-line documentatie.

  • You can save a session's properties, such as host name, user name, screen colors etc. Use the Save button on the session setup screen.
  • You can start a PuTTY session directly. For this, you need to make a shortcut to the program putty.exe. Next, change the shortcut properties by adding @<sessienaam> to the Target field.

Public/private keys

You can use the PuTTYGen program to generate private/public keypairs. Using a key has the advantage of not having to use the unix/linux password. For details, see the PuTTY manual, and the ssh man page on the unix/linux system. Preferably, use the SSH2 protocol with RSA key.

PuTTY en X-Windows

You can use X-Windows through PuTTY, provided there is some X-server installed on your own system, such as Exceed. You must activate X11 forwarding for PuTTY: SSH > Tunnels > Enable X11 forwarding.

See also...