Git Ssh Key Generation Windows

On Windows, you can create SSH keys in many ways. This document explains how to use two SSH applications, PuTTY and Git Bash.

Joyent recommends RSA keys because the node-manta CLI programs work with RSA keys both locally and with the ssh agent. DSA keys will work only if the private key is on the same system as the CLI, and not password-protected.


PuTTY is an SSH client for Windows. You can use PuTTY to generate SSH keys. PuTTY is a free open-source terminal emulator that functions much like the Terminal application in macOS in a Windows environment. This section shows you how to manually generate and upload an SSH key when working with PuTTY in the Windows environment.

About PuTTY

PuTTY is an SSH client for Windows that you will use to generate your SSH keys. You can download PuTTY from

Create and add your SSH public key. It is best practice to use Git over SSH instead of Git over HTTP. In order to use SSH, you will need to: Create an SSH key pair on your local computer. Add the key to GitLab. Go to your command line. Follow the instructions to generate your SSH key pair. Add Your SSH Key to Pantheon. Log in to Pantheon and go to the Account tab in your User Dashboard. Click SSH Keys. Paste the copied public key into the box, and click Add Key. Your computer is now set up to securely connect to the Pantheon Git server. You can view a list of available keys on the same page.

When you install the PuTTY client, you also install the PuTTYgen utility. PuTTYgen is what you will use to generate your SSH key for a Windows VM.

This page gives you basic information about using PuTTY and PuTTYgen to log in to your provisioned machine. For more information on PuTTY, see the PuTTY documentation

Generating an SSH key

To generate an SSH key with PuTTYgen, follow these steps:

  1. Open the PuTTYgen program.
  2. For Type of key to generate, select SSH-2 RSA.
  3. Click the Generate button.
  4. Move your mouse in the area below the progress bar. When the progress bar is full, PuTTYgen generates your key pair.
  5. Type a passphrase in the Key passphrase field. Type the same passphrase in the Confirm passphrase field. You can use a key without a passphrase, but this is not recommended.
  6. Click the Save private key button to save the private key. You must save the private key. You will need it to connect to your machine.
  7. Right-click in the text field labeled Public key for pasting into OpenSSH authorized_keys file and choose Select All.
  8. Right-click again in the same text field and choose Copy.

Importing your SSH key

Now you must import the copied SSH key to the portal.

  1. After you copy the SSH key to the clipboard, return to your account page.
  2. Choose to Import Public Key and paste your SSH key into the Public Key field.
  3. In the Key Name field, provide a name for the key. Note: although providing a key name is optional, it is a best practice for ease of managing multiple SSH keys.
  4. Add the key. It will now appear in your table of keys under SSH.

PuTTY and OpenSSH use different formats of public SSH keys. If the text you pasted in the SSH Key starts with —— BEGIN SSH2 PUBLIC KEY, it is in the wrong format. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Your key should start with ssh-rsa AAAA….

Once you upload your SSH key to the portal, you can connect to your virtual machine from Windows through a PuTTY session.

Git Bash

The Git installation package comes with SSH. Using Git Bash, which is the Git command line tool, you can generate SSH key pairs. Git Bash has an SSH client that enables you to connect to and interact with Triton containers on Windows.

To install Git:

  1. (Download and initiate the Git installer](
  2. When prompted, accept the default components by clicking Next.
  3. Choose the default text editor. If you have Notepad++ installed, select Notepad++ and click Next.
  4. Select to Use Git from the Windows Command Prompt and click Next.
  5. Select to Use OpenSSL library and click Next.
  6. Select to Checkout Windows-style, commit Unix-style line endings and click Next.
  7. Select to Use MinTTY (The default terminal of mYSYS2) and click Next.
  8. Accept the default extra option configuration by clicking Install.

When the installation completes, you may need to restart Windows.

Launching GitBash

To open Git Bash, we recommend launching the application from the Windows command prompt:

  1. In Windows, press Start+R to launch the Run dialog.
  2. Type C:Program FilesGitbinbash.exe and press Enter.
Git ssh key generation windows 10

Generating SSH keys

First, create the SSH directory and then generate the SSH key pair.

One assumption is that the Windows profile you are using is set up with administrative privileges. Given this, you will be creating the SSH directory at the root of your profile, for example:

  1. At the Git Bash command line, change into your root directory and type.
  1. Change into the .ssh directory C:Usersjoetest.ssh

  2. To create the keys, type:
  1. When prompted for a password, type apassword to complete the process. When finished, the output looks similar to:

Uploading an SSH key

To upload the public SSH key to your Triton account:

  1. Open Triton Service portal, select Account to open the Account Summary page.
  2. From the SSH section, select Import Public Key.
  3. Enter a Key Name. Although naming a key is optional, labels are a best practice for managing multiple SSH keys.
  4. Add your public SSH key.

When Triton finishes the adding or uploading process, the public SSH key appears in the list of SSH keys.

What are my next steps?

  • Adding SSH keys to agent.
  • Set up the Triton CLI and CloudAPI on Windows.
  • Set up the Triton CLI and CloudAPI.
  • Create an instance in the Triton Service Portal.
  • Set up the triton-docker command line tool.
  • Visit PuTTYgen to learn more about the PuTTYgen and to seethe complete installation and usage guide.

Azure Repos Azure DevOps Server 2019 TFS 2018 TFS 2017 TFS 2015 Update 3

Connect to your Git repos through SSH on macOS, Linux, or Windows to securely connect using HTTPS authentication. On Windows, we recommended the use of Git Credential Managers or Personal Access Tokens.


SSH URLs have changed, but old SSH URLs will continue to work. If you have already set up SSH, you should update your remote URLs to the new format:

  • Verify which remotes are using SSH by running git remote -v in your Git client.
  • Visit your repository on the web and select the Clone button in the upper right.
  • Select SSH and copy the new SSH URL.
  • In your Git client, run: git remote set-url <remote name, e.g. origin> <new SSH URL>. Alternatively, in Visual Studio, go to Repository Settings, and edit your remotes.


As of Visual Studio 2017, SSH can be used to connect to Git repos.

How SSH key authentication works

SSH public key authentication works with an asymmetric pair of generated encryption keys. The public key is shared with Azure DevOps and used to verify the initial ssh connection. The private key is kept safe and secure on your system.

Set up SSH key authentication

The following steps cover configuration of SSH key authentication on the following platforms:

  • Linux
  • macOS running at least Leopard (10.5)
  • Windows systems running Git for Windows

Configure SSH using the command line. bash is the common shell on Linux and macOS and the Git for Windows installation adds a shortcut to Git Bash in the Start menu.Other shell environments will work, but are not covered in this article.

Step 1: Create your SSH keys


If you have already created SSH keys on your system, skip this step and go to configuring SSH keys.

The commands here will let you create new default SSH keys, overwriting existing default keys. Before continuing, check your~/.ssh folder (for example, /home/jamal/.ssh or C:Usersjamal.ssh) and look for the following files:

  • id_rsa

If these files exist, then you have already created SSH keys. You can overwrite the keys with the following commands, or skip this step and go to configuring SSH keys to reuse these keys.

Create your SSH keys with the ssh-keygen command from the bash prompt. This command will create a 2048-bit RSA key for use with SSH. You can give a passphrasefor your private key when prompted—this passphrase provides another layer of security for your private key.If you give a passphrase, be sure to configure the SSH agent to cache your passphrase so you don't have to enter it every time you connect.

This command produces the two keys needed for SSH authentication: your private key ( id_rsa ) and the public key ( ). It is important to never share the contents of your private key. If the private key iscompromised, attackers can use it to trick servers into thinking the connection is coming from you.

Step 2: Add the public key to Azure DevOps Services/TFS

Associate the public key generated in the previous step with your user ID.

  1. Open your security settings by browsing to the web portal and selecting your avatar in the upper right of theuser interface. Select Security in the menu that appears.

  2. Select SSH public keys, and then select + New Key.

  3. Copy the contents of the public key (for example, that you generated into the Public Key Data field.


    Avoid adding whitespace or new lines into the Key Data field, as they can cause Azure DevOps Services to use an invalid public key. When pasting in the key, a newline often is added at the end. Be sure to remove this newline if it occurs.

  4. Give the key a useful description (this description will be displayed on the SSH public keys page for your profile) so that you can remember it later. Select Save to store the public key. Once saved, you cannot change the key. You can delete the key or create a new entry for another key. There are no restrictions on how many keys you can add to your user profile.

Step 3: Clone the Git repository with SSH


To connect with SSH from an existing cloned repo, see updating your remotes to SSH.

  1. Copy the SSH clone URL from the web portal. In this example, the SSL clone URL is for a repo in an organization named fabrikam-fiber, as indicated by the first part of the URL after


    Project URLs have changed with the release of Azure DevOps Services and now have the format{your organization}/{your project}, but you can still use the existing format. For more information, see VSTS is now Azure DevOps Services.

  2. Run git clone from the command prompt.

SSH may display the server's SSH fingerprint and ask you to verify it.

For cloud-hosted Azure DevOps Services, where clone URLs contain either or, the fingerprint should match one of the following formats:

  • MD5: 97:70:33:82:fd:29:3a:73:39:af:6a:07:ad:f8:80:49 (RSA)
  • SHA256: SHA256:ohD8VZEXGWo6Ez8GSEJQ9WpafgLFsOfLOtGGQCQo6Og (RSA)These fingerprints are also listed in the SSH public keys page.

For self-hosted instances of Azure DevOps Server, you should verify that the displayed fingerprint matches one of the fingerprints in the SSH public keys page.

SSH displays this fingerprint when it connects to an unknown host to protect you from man-in-the-middle attacks.Once you accept the host's fingerprint, SSH will not prompt you again unless the fingerprint changes.

When you are asked if you want to continue connecting, type yes. Git will clone the repo and set up the origin remote to connect with SSH for future Git commands.


Avoid trouble: Windows users will need to run a command to have Git reuse their SSH key passphrase.

Questions and troubleshooting

Q: After running git clone, I get the following error. What should I do?

Host key verification failed.fatal: Could not read from remote repository.

A: Manually record the SSH key by running:ssh-keyscan -t rsa >> ~/.ssh/known_hosts

Q: How can I have Git remember the passphrase for my key on Windows?

A: Run the following command included in Git for Windows to start up the ssh-agent process in Powershell or the Windows Command Prompt. ssh-agent will cacheyour passphrase so you don't have to provide it every time you connect to your repo.

If you're using the Bash shell (including Git Bash), start ssh-agent with:

Q: I use PuTTY as my SSH client and generated my keys with PuTTYgen. Can I use these keys with Azure DevOps Services?

A: Yes. Load the private key with PuTTYgen, go to Conversions menu and select Export OpenSSH key.Save the private key file and then follow the steps to set up non-default keys.Copy your public key directly from the PuTTYgen window and paste into the Key Data field in your security settings.

Q: How can I verify that the public key I uploaded is the same key as I have locally?

A: You can verify the fingerprint of the public key uploaded with the one displayed in your profile through the following ssh-keygen command run against your public key usingthe bash command line. You will need to change the path and the public key filename if you are not using the defaults.

You can then compare the MD5 signature to the one in your profile. This check is useful if you have connection problems or have concerns about incorrectlypasting in the public key into the Key Data field when adding the key to Azure DevOps Services.

Q: How can I start using SSH in a repository where I am currently using HTTPS?

A: You'll need to update the origin remote in Git to change over from a HTTPS to SSH URL. Once you have the SSH clone URL, run the following command:

You can now run any Git command that connects to origin.

Windows Git Ssh Key Generation

Q: I'm using Git LFS with Azure DevOps Services and I get errors when pulling files tracked by Git LFS.

A: Azure DevOps Services currently doesn't support LFS over SSH. Use HTTPS to connect to repos with Git LFS tracked files.

Q: How can I use a non default key location, i.e. not ~/.ssh/id_rsa and ~/.ssh/

A: To use keys created with ssh-keygen in a different place than the default, you do two things:

  1. The keys must be in a folder that only you can read or edit. If the folder has wider permissions, SSH will not use the keys.
  2. You must let SSH know the location of the keys. You make SSH aware of keys through the ssh-add command, providing the full path to the private key.

Git Ssh Key Generation Windows 10

On Windows, before running ssh-add, you will need to run the following command from included in Git for Windows:

This command runs in both Powershell and the Command Prompt. If you are using Git Bash, the command you need to use is:

You can find ssh-add as part of the Git for Windows distribution and also run it in any shell environment on Windows.

On macOS and Linux you also must have ssh-agent running before running ssh-add, but the command environment on these platforms usuallytakes care of starting ssh-agent for you.

Q: I have multiple SSH keys. How do I use different SSH keys for different SSH servers or repos?

A: Generally, if you configure multiple keys for an SSH client and connect to an SSH server, the client can try the keys one at a time until the server accepts one.

However, this doesn't work with Azure DevOps for technical reasons related to the SSH protocol and how our Git SSH URLs are structured. Azure DevOps will blindly accept the first key that the client provides during authentication. If that key is invalid for the requested repo, the request will fail with the following error:


For Azure DevOps, you'll need to configure SSH to explicitly use a specific key file. One way to do this to edit your ~/.ssh/config file (for example, /home/jamal/.ssh or C:Usersjamal.ssh) as follows:

Git Windows Add Ssh Key

Q: What notifications may I receive about my SSH keys?

A: Whenever you register a new SSH Key with Azure DevOps Services, you will receive an email notification informing you that a new SSH key has been added to your account.

Q: What do I do if I believe that someone other than me is adding SSH keys on my account?

A: If you receive a notification of an SSH key being registered and you did not manually upload it to the service, your credentials may have been compromised.

The next step would be to investigate whether or not your password has been compromised. Changing your password is always a good first step to defend against this attack vector. If you’re an Azure Active Directory user, talk with your administrator to check if your account was used from an unknown source/location.