Trouble with SSH key pairs windows client

  • Posted June 1, 2014

Hi all, Trying to set up SSH key pair access to my droplet using PuTTy on Win7 and just about ready to open a vein :( Here are the steps I followed.

  1. Generate key pair in PuTTyGen
  2. Use the public key value in the generated key box and paste into authorized_keys on my server. (If you click save keys you get the PuTTy format.)
  3. Conversions - Export OpenSHH key
  4. Add this key under SSH - Auth in the PuTTy profile set-up.
  5. Restart SSH on droplet
  6. Try to connect in PuTTy. I always get Unable to use key file …

Is there not an OpenSSH utility for windows that creates compliant, industry standard key pairs out of the box?

Thoughts appreciated. :)


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I had… er … ahem … created the .ssh folder in the wrong place. /.SSH instead of $HOME/.SSH…oh deary deary deary deary me. What a chump. Upside is I got to hear about Xshell :) <br> <br>Thanks again! <br>

Just had a thought (oh no). This should be SSH1 right?

Hi. Thanks for the Sunday reply :). <br> <br>Right, just tried saving the private key from the PuTTy save dialog. Got a different error: “server refused our key”. Have restarted SSH daemon on droplet. <br> <br>Key looks like this <br> <br>PuTTY-User-Key-File-2: ssh-rsa <br>Encryption: none <br>Comment: rsa-key-20140601 <br>Public-Lines: 4 <br>AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EE/tSY2c=… etc <br>Private-Lines: 8 <br>AAAAgQC7WTuh6UCNbfRR1v5gYQZVQPB69+vG0tSf2acnyFtd75uweGGS/tAinS6a …etc <br>Private-MAC: 0069bc… etc <br> <br>Anything jump out? <br> <br>If nothing obvious is wrong with that structure, I’ll try it with xshell. <br>Cheers.

You almost got it right. After step two and you’ve pasted the public key into authorized_keys, save the keys as the putty format. Putty can’t read openssh keys. The conversation option is only there in case you want to use that key later from a linux or other system that uses openssh. <br> <br>Alternatively instead of using putty you can use xshell which is free for home use (only paid if a business). A lot of windows users prefer it over putty. <br> <br>Hope this helps, cheers.