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Keith McCartan

How to Generate SSH Keys & Connect to your VPS with PuTTY

This is a a bit (ok more than a bit) geeky but I wanted to share my notes on how to SSH to a remote server using PuTTY and public key authentication. People seem to have a lot of trouble with this - mostly with the dredded "server refused our key" error. There are several ways to set up PuTTY to use public key authentication. The method below has worked successfully for me many times -  mostly connecting to our CentOS VPS. I am sharing with you assuming you already have some basic Linux command line knowledge, you know what PuTTY is and that you understand you are using these instructions at your own risk.

  • ssh to server via PuTTY using your user name and password. The user name should be the same user you will be logging in as via PuTTY. I do not recommend using root. You should be in your home directory if not :
    cd ~
  • mkdir ~/.ssh
    chmod 700 ~/.ssh
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