How to Convert PPK to SSH in Ubuntu

Written by gareth downes-powell
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PUTTY is an open-source terminal emulator primarily for Microsoft Windows, but there are also versions for the Linux and Mac operating systems. PUTTY acts as a client for SSH, Telnet and raw TCP protocols, and contains a serial console client for local serial connections. PUTTY stores the private keys necessary to connect to and authenticate with SSH servers in its own format, denoted by a .ppk extension at the end of the filename. To use the private keys with OpenSSH on Ubuntu, convert the .ppk files with the PuTTYGen tool.

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  1. 1

    Open a terminal window in Ubuntu, or log in if you are converting the keys on a remote Ubuntu server.

  2. 2

    Type "sudo apt-get install putty-tools" at the terminal prompt to install the PUTTY tools. Enter your password when requested by sudo, to run apt-get with the root permissions needed for installation.

  3. 3

    Convert the public key by typing the following at the terminal prompt:

    puttygen keyfile.ppk -o -O public-openssh

    Where "keyfile.ppk" is the PUTTY .ppk file to convert, and "" is the name of the converted key file.

  4. 4

    Convert the private key by typing:

    puttygen keyfile.ppk -o id_rsa -O private-openssh

    Where "keyfile.ppk" is the key file to convert, and "id_rsa" is the private key file. PUTTY stores both the private and public keys in the .ppk file, which is why you use the same file to convert both keys. You can now use both keys with OpenSSH.

Tips and warnings

  • Provide a passphrase for use with your private key for an extra layer of security.

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