SSH 101: The Basics of PuTTY SSH Client
Secure Shell Access (SSH) is a tool used to securely connect to a remote server or remote computer. It means that you can perform a certain command or set of commands on your computer and have another computer execute the actions.
Installing and configuring the SSH client
If you don’t have the SSH program in your computer, you will need to install one. Donwload the PuTTY client here. PuTTY is a program used to access SSH.
Running the .exe installer
After you have downloaded the putty.exe installer, double click on the file to run it.
1. The setup wizard window will open. Click “Next >”.
2. Specify where you want to save the file and click “Next >”.
3. On the “Select Startup Menu Folder” window, use the default value and click “Next > “.
4. Check the “Associate .PPK files (Putty Privaye Key) with Pageant and PuTTYgen” box and click “Next >”.
5. Click on “Install”, then “Finish”.
Creating your SSH key
Download the puttygen.exe file on the same page where you have downloaded the PuTTY client.
1. Run the downloaded file to install the program.
2. Tick on “SSH-2 RSA”. Click on the “Generate” button to generate a public/private key pair.
3. Hover your mouse on the window to generate the key.
4. Enter a key comment to help you identify your key (this is useful when you have more than one SSH key).
5. Enter a lengthy passphrase (password) and confirm it.
6. Save your private key in a file by clicking on the “Save private key” button and click on “Save public key” to save your public key.
1. Launch the PuTTY program.
2. In the “PuTTY configuration” window, select “Session” located on the left-hand portion of the window.
3. In the “Host Name (or IP address)” field, type in the name of the remote computer you want to access.
4. Type in 31415 in the “Port” field.
5. Under “Protocol”, tick on “SSH”.
6. Click on the “Open” button.
7. A dialog box will open. It will prompt you for your username and password. You should provide the necessary details.
8. After you put in your password, you will see a prompt telling you that you are successfully connected to a remote computer.
3 most common SSH commands
1. Changing directories
To move into a directory use: cd
If you want to specify the full path of your directory you can do so by using:
If you want to go one directory up from where you are currently at, use: cd ..
If you want to go to the home directory, use: cd ~
2. Checking your current directory location
If you want to know the exact folder where you are at, use the command: pwd
3. Checking the content of your current directory
If you want to see the list of files that are stored inside your current directory, use the command: ls –alh
Image by rosshuggett (flickr)