SSH into Linux

Connect to a remote Linux Installation using SSH #


Windows #

Option 1: Built-in SSH (Windows 10 and higher) #

Windows 10 and higher ship with a built-in OpenSSH Client

Verify OpenSSH is installed on your computer by opening a command line prompt and executing ssh -V. If you see an output similar to the following, you have OpenSSH installed:

C:\>ssh -V
OpenSSH_for_Windows_8.1p1, LibreSSL 3.0.2

In order to connect to an SSH Server you need the following:

  • The IP Address or FQDN of the server
  • The username of the account and
  • Either the password or the private key (.pem) of the account you want to connect to

The syntax for connecting to an SSH Server is as follows:

ssh <username>@<server-ip|FQDN> -i <private-pem-key-file>


  • IP:
  • Username: ubuntu
  • Private key file: c:\users\ipse\ssh\workhaus.pem
ssh ubuntu@ -i c:\users\ipse\ssh\workhaus.pem

Option 2: Putty SSH Client #

Install Putty from here.

Without private key #

Open Putty, enter the server IP or FQDN and click on “Open”. A shell window will open which queries you for the username and password.

Enter IP

With private key #

When using Putty, the private key file needs to be in the Putty key file format ppk. If your key file is in the pem format (as for example generated by AWS) you need to convert it to the Putty format first. You can use puttygen for that (see below).

Enter KeyFile

Click on “Open” and a shell window will open where you need to enter your username and also the passphrase for the PPK key file if any was specified.

Putty Shell

Optional: Convert PEM to PPK #

Download puttygen from here and open it. Click on “Import Key” in the Conversions menu and select your pem key file.

Import Key

I recommend adding a comment to the key to identify it. If you want, you can also save the key with a passphrase.

Save Key

Click “Save Private Key” to save the PPK file which can be used by Putty.


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