Generating a New SSH Key

These instructions are intended for PC users that want to generate an SSH key on a Windows computer. This step is to be completed on the computer that you will be using to connect to and manage the Linux VPS.

Implementation Steps

  1. Download the PuttyGen SSH key generator.

  1. Locate the puttygen.exe file in your Downloads folder.
  1. Double click the puttygen.exe file to open the Putty key generator.
  1. Click Generate to generate a new RSA 2048 bit key.

    • Be sure to check the Parameters to verify that RSA is selected.
    • Speed up the key generation process by moving your mouse around the blank area under the green loading bar.
  1. Highlight and copy all of the text in the box called Public key for pasting into OpenSSH authorized_keys file.

    • You have to scroll down to get the whole key copied.
    • The SSH key should begin with the word ssh-rsa and it should end with a date, such as rsa-key-20180406.
    • NOTE: IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU COPY THE ENTIRE SSH KEY NOT JUST WHAT YOU SEE IN THE PUTTYKEY WINDOW.
  1. Save the copied SSH public key in a very safe location such as a password repository.

    • You can paste this into a txt file temporarily, but be sure NOT to save it on your local computer to reduce the chances of it being vulnerable to being hacked.
    • You will need this SSH public key again later in the process when adding it to the Linux VPS server.
  1. Save the new SSH private key by clicking the button Save private key.

    • Click Yes when prompted “Are you sure you want to save this key without a passphrase to protect it?”
    • Type in the name sshprivatekey in the File name: field.
    • Click Save to save the new sshprivatekey.ppk file in an easy to locate folder. You will need to reference this file again later in the setup process.

You are now done generating the new SSH Private Key. You can proceed to the next step to download and install the Putty terminal emulator.