SSH, the secure shell, is often used to access remote Linux systems. But its authentication mechanism, where a private local key is paired with a public remote key, is used to secure all kinds of online services, from GitHub and Launchpad to Linux running on Microsoft’s Azure cloud.
Generating these keys from Linux is easy, and thanks to Ubuntu on WSL, you can follow the same process from Windows 10. But even without Ubuntu, SSH keys can also be generated with the free and open source OpenSSH client built into Windows 10 or with PuTTY for Windows 8.1 and earlier.
Over the following few steps, we’ll guide you through the process of generating SSH keys using Ubuntu on WSL, OpenSSH, and PuTTY.
All you need is a PC running Windows and one of the following installed:
- Ubuntu on WSL for Windows 10
- The OpenSSH client built into Windows 10
puttygen.exeexecutable from PuTTY for Windows 7 or 8.1
If you don’t already have Ubuntu on WSL, take a look at our Install Ubuntu on WSL tutorial.