Manually generating your SSH key in Windows

Modified: 06 Nov 2015 18:02 UTC

You can use PuTTY to generate your SmartMachine SSH key. PuTTY is a free open-source terminal emulator that functions much like the Terminal application in Mac OS X in a Windows environment. If you prefer a command line approach to SSH, you can use Cygwin to emulate a Linux-like environment on your Windows machine.

This topic 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

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. Warning! 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.

PuTTY key generator

Uploading an SSH key

Now you need to upload the copied SSH key to your Cloud Management portal.

  1. After you copy the SSH key to the clipboard, return to the Cloud Management portal.
  2. In the SSH Key field, paste your SSH key.
  3. In the Name field, provide a name for the key. Information Providing a key name is optional but is a good practice for ease of management.
  4. Click the Add this key button. See below.

uploading and ssh key

Warning! 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.

What is my next step?

The final step is to provision an instance and start using the Joyent Public Cloud.