Home Committer SSH configuration on Windows (edit)

Committer SSH configuration on Windows

When using SSH (Secure Shell, a cryptographic network protocol) to access people.apache.org, Windows users have two choices:

  • Install cygwin, a collection of GNU and Open Source tools which provide functionality similar to a Linux distribution on Windows, and use the standard command line tools
  • Use Putty, which provides a graphical user interface

Non-Windows-specific documentation is also available, and contains details not repeated in this document.


Setting up Cygwin

  1. Download the latest version of cygwin.
  2. Install the program by running setup-x86_64.exe. Cygwin strongly advises against installing the 32-bit version.
  3. Consult the user guide to learn how to make use of its many features.

Setting up Putty

This section describes how to create a public/private key pair and how to configure Putty to use them to access people.apache.org.

Download and install Putty

  1. Download the latest version of Putty.
  2. Double-click on the downloaded installer package to install Putty to a suitable location.
  3. Once the install is complete it will be easier to transfer files using PSFTP if the Putty directory is in your Path.

Putty comes with Puttygen, Pageant and PSFTP, which you will be using.

Create a public/private key pair with PuttyGen

  1. Double-click Puttygen to start the authentication keys creation process.
  2. Ensure that Type of key to generate has SSH RSA selected.
  3. Click <Generate to create a random key (and move the mouse around to supply the required entropy).
  4. Provide a decscription of the key in the Comment field or accept the default.
  5. Enter and confirm a >Key Passphraseto protect your private key.
  6. Click Save Public Key and save it as yourapacheusername.pub<.
  7. Click Save Private Key and save it as yourapacheusername.ppk.
  8. To create an authorized_keys file, copy the Public Key information in the top box, paste it into a text file (using a tool like notepad) and save the file as authorized_keys. The file must have that exact name and no extension like .txt. Make sure your text editor did not add an extension when you saved the file.
  9. Close Puttygen.

Upload the 'authorized_keys' file with PSFTP

  1. Open a Command Prompt box and navigate to the location where you stored your authoriized_keys file.
  2. Enter psftp people.apache.org. A connection will be made to people.apache.org.
  3. The first time you use PSFTP, you will have to provide your Apache login user name and password.
  4. Create a new directory .ssh in your area.
  5. Enter chmod 700 .ssh. This ensures only you have access to this directory.
  6. Enter cd.ssh to navigate into the new directory.
  7. Enter put authorized_keys to upload your authoriized_keys file.
  8. Enter exit to log out from yourpeople.apache.org private area and from PSFTP itself.

Add Key to Pageant and run Pageant

This is probably the most overlooked but most important step for Windows users. You need to load a key into Pageant and have Pageant running all the time in memory so other applications can use the keys you created. If Pageant is not running, when you enter people.apache.org Putty or PSFTP will prompt for user and password again regardless of the work you just did.

  1. Open Pageant and click Add to add a new key.
  2. Browse to your yourapacheusername.ppk private key file and select it.
  3. Click Close to close this window.

Pageant is still running with an icon in the system tray.

You should now be able to log in without being asked for your user name or password any more. Try it:

In the Command Prompt box enter psftp people.apache.org.

You should be able to log right in without having to provide your credentials.

Note that whenever you exit Pageant, or restart your computer, you will need to restart Pageant and add your key in again. Pageant does not keep details of loaded keys between sessions.

Configure Putty to log in using your Keys

  1. Open up Putty.
  2. Specify people.apache.org as the Hostname.
  3. Make sure the SSH protocol radio button is selected.
  4. Choose the Data sub-category of Connection.
  5. Provide your Apache user name for auto-login username.
  6. Select the SSH category.
  7. Make sure the SSH 2 Only radio button is selected.
  8. Select the Auth sub-category of the SSH category.
  9. Make sure the Attempt "Keyboard Interactive" auth (SSH 2) checkbox is selected.
  10. Click the Browse Button and locate and load your Private Key you saved earlier as yourapacheusername.ppk.
  11. Select the Session category and save this session with a suitable name.

All the details are now saved for future use. Now click the Open button to open a secure connection to the server and to log in automatically to your personal area of people.apache.org. You will have to provide your password if this is the first time connecting to your area.

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