Generate Ssh Key Windows 10

Key generation with PuTTY. To generate a key pair with the PuTTY key generator, simply run puttygen.exe and click the Generate button in the window that appears. You will be asked to move the mouse and press keys to improve the random number generation at the heart of SSH security. file is your public key, and the other file is the corresponding private key. If you don’t have these files (or you don’t even have a.ssh directory), you can create them by running a program called ssh-keygen, which is provided with the SSH package on Linux/macOS systems. Oct 24, 2016  All, I'm quite adept at key generation and public/private key authentication on Linux, but am basically a fish out of water on windows. I have Win10 with Ubuntu bash installed and I've had no problem with the ssh-keygen from within bash and setting up outbound passwordless ssh access to all Linux hosts.That is not what this questions asks.

How to generate an SSH key in Windows 10

To generate an SSH key in Windows 10:

  1. Ensure the Windows 10 OpenSSH client is installed.
  2. Run “ssh-keygen” in Command Prompt and follow the instructions to generate your key.

Applies to Windows 10 1803, and up

Generating SSH keys in a Windows environment used to be a convoluted process which required the installation of third-party tools. Since the Windows 10 April 2018 update, Windows has shipped with a preinstalled OpenSSH client, which means you can use ssh-keygen to generate SSH keys. Read on as we walk you through the entire process.

First, you’ll need to make sure OpenSSH is installed on your machine – if you upgraded from an earlier version of Windows 10, you may need to manually enable it. Launch the Settings app and click the “Apps” category. Next, click the “Manage optional features” link. If you don’t see “OpenSSH Client” in the list which appears, click the “Add a feature” button and install it. You might need to reboot your PC after the installation.

Once OpenSSH is installed, you’re ready to proceed. Open Command Prompt from the Start menu. Type “ssh-keygen” (without the quotes) into the terminal window and press enter. You’ll be prompted to confirm the save location. We recommend pressing enter to use the default location in your user directory. Otherwise, type a path to save the key in and then press enter.

You can now choose to add a passphrase (password) to the key. If you add one, you’ll need to supply it whenever you use the key. Either type a passphrase and press enter or press enter immediately to proceed without one.

Windows will now generate your RSA public/private key pair. The public key will be stored as “” in the directory you specified. Upload this key to any machines you need to SSH into. You can then open a connection using Windows’ built-in SSH client – type “ssh [email protected]” to connect and authenticate using your generated credentials.

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This article describes ways to generate and use secure shell (SSH) keys on a Windows computer to create and connect to a Linux virtual machine (VM) in Azure. To use SSH keys from a Linux or macOS client, see the quick or detailed guidance.

Overview of SSH and keys

SSH is an encrypted connection protocol that allows secure sign-ins over unsecured connections. SSH is the default connection protocol for Linux VMs hosted in Azure. Although SSH itself provides an encrypted connection, using passwords with SSH connections still leaves the VM vulnerable to brute-force attacks or guessing of passwords. A more secure and preferred method of connecting to a VM using SSH is by using a public-private key pair, also known as SSH keys.

  • The public key is placed on your Linux VM, or any other service that you wish to use with public-key cryptography.

  • The private key remains on your local system. Protect this private key. Do not share it.

When you use an SSH client to connect to your Linux VM (which has the public key), the remote VM tests the client to make sure it possesses the private key. If the client has the private key, it's granted access to the VM.

Depending on your organization's security policies, you can reuse a single public-private key pair to access multiple Azure VMs and services. You do not need a separate pair of keys for each VM or service you wish to access.

Your public key can be shared with anyone, but only you (or your local security infrastructure) should possess your private key.

Supported SSH key formats

Azure currently supports SSH protocol 2 (SSH-2) RSA public-private key pairs with a minimum length of 2048 bits. Other key formats such as ED25519 and ECDSA are not supported.

Windows packages and SSH clients

You connect to and manage Linux VMs in Azure using an SSH client. Computers running Linux or macOS usually have a suite of SSH commands to generate and manage SSH keys and to make SSH connections.

Windows computers do not always have comparable SSH commands installed. Recent versions of Windows 10 provide OpenSSH client commands to create and manage SSH keys and make SSH connections from a command prompt. Recent Windows 10 versions also include the Windows Subsystem for Linux to run and access utilities such as an SSH client natively within a Bash shell.

Other common Windows SSH clients you can install locally are included in the following packages:

You can also use the SSH utilities available in Bash in the Azure Cloud Shell.

  • Access Cloud Shell in your web browser at or in the Azure portal.
  • Access Cloud Shell as a terminal from within Visual Studio Code by installing the Azure Account extension.

Create an SSH key pair

The following sections describe two options to create an SSH key pair on Windows. You can use a shell command (ssh-keygen) or a GUI tool (PuTTYgen). Also note, when using Powershell to create a key, upload the public key as format. When using CLI, convert the key into OpenSSH format prior to uploading.

Create SSH keys with ssh-keygen

If you run a command shell on Windows that supports SSH client tools (or you use Azure Cloud Shell), create an SSH key pair using the ssh-keygen command. Type the following command, and answer the prompts. If an SSH key pair exists in the chosen location, those files are overwritten.

For more background and information, see the quick or detailed steps to create SSH keys using ssh-keygen.

Create SSH keys with PuTTYgen

If you prefer to use a GUI-based tool to create SSH keys, you can use the PuTTYgen key generator, included with the PuTTY download package.

To create an SSH RSA key pair with PuTTYgen:

  1. Start PuTTYgen.

  2. Click Generate. By default PuTTYgen generates a 2048-bit SSH-2 RSA key.

  3. Move the mouse around in the blank area to provide randomness for the key.

  4. After the public key is generated, optionally enter and confirm a passphrase. You will be prompted for the passphrase when you authenticate to the VM with your private SSH key. Without a passphrase, if someone obtains your private key, they can sign in to any VM or service that uses that key. We recommend you create a passphrase. However, if you forget the passphrase, there is no way to recover it.

  5. The public key is displayed at the top of the window. You can copy this entire public key and then paste it into the Azure portal or an Azure Resource Manager template when you create a Linux VM. You can also select Save public key to save a copy to your computer:

  6. Optionally, to save the private key in PuTTy private key format (.ppk file), select Save private key. You will need the .ppk file later to use PuTTY to make an SSH connection to the VM.

    If you want to save the private key in the OpenSSH format, the private key format used by many SSH clients, select Conversions > Export OpenSSH key.

Provide an SSH public key when deploying a VM

Ssh Key Generate For Windows10

To create a Linux VM that uses SSH keys for authentication, provide your SSH public key when creating the VM using the Azure portal or other methods.

The following example shows how you would copy and paste this public key into the Azure portal when you create a Linux VM. The public key is typically then stored in the ~/.ssh/authorized_key directory on your new VM.

Connect to your VM

One way to make an SSH connection to your Linux VM from Windows is to use an SSH client. This is the preferred method if you have an SSH client installed on your Windows system, or if you use the SSH tools in Bash in Azure Cloud Shell. If you prefer a GUI-based tool, you can connect with PuTTY.

Use an SSH client

With the public key deployed on your Azure VM, and the private key on your local system, SSH to your VM using the IP address or DNS name of your VM. Replace azureuser and in the following command with the administrator user name and the fully qualified domain name (or IP address):

If you configured a passphrase when you created your key pair, enter the passphrase when prompted during the sign-in process.

If the VM is using the just-in-time access policy, you need to request access before you can connect to the VM. For more information about the just-in-time policy, see Manage virtual machine access using the just in time policy.


Connect with PuTTY

Generate Ssh Key Mac

If you installed the PuTTY download package and previously generated a PuTTY private key (.ppk) file, you can connect to a Linux VM with PuTTY.

Powershell Generate Ssh Key

  1. Start PuTTy.

  2. Fill in the host name or IP address of your VM from the Azure portal:

  3. Select the Connection > SSH > Auth category. Browse to and select your PuTTY private key (.ppk file):

  4. Click Open to connect to your VM.

Generate Ssh Key Github

Next steps

  • For detailed steps, options, and advanced examples of working with SSH keys, see Detailed steps to create SSH key pairs.

  • You can also use PowerShell in Azure Cloud Shell to generate SSH keys and make SSH connections to Linux VMs. See the PowerShell quickstart.

  • If you have difficulty using SSH to connect to your Linux VMs, see Troubleshoot SSH connections to an Azure Linux VM.