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How to use keyboard interactive authentication putty

Updated July 20, 2017

PUTTY is a free, open-source terminal emulator program for Windows. PUTTY supports connecting to SSH, Telnet, rlogin and other text console servers over the Internet or a local network. PUTTY supports a variety of authentication for connecting to SSH servers, including basic password authentication and public key authentication. One of the authentication methods is keyboard interactive authentication, which allows the SSH server to ask an arbitrary question and the user to input an arbitrary response. For example, the SSH console could ask a security question only the user would know or for a one-time password. Keyboard interactive authentication is enabled in PUTTY by default, but PUTTY might use other authentication methods instead if they're enabled.

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  1. Open PUTTY by clicking "Start," "All Programs," "PUTTY" and "PUTTY."

  2. Click the plus sign to the left of "SSH" under the "Connection" header at the left side of the PUTTY window.

  3. Click "Auth" under "SSH."

  4. Deselect the "Bypass Authentication Entirely," "Attempt Authentication Using Pageant" and "Attempt TLS or CryptoCard Auth" check boxes by clicking them if they're enabled.

  5. Verify the "Attempt Keyboard-Interactive Auth" check box is enabled. Click it if it isn't enabled.

  6. Click "Session" at the left side of the PUTTY window.

  7. Type the IP address or host name of the SSH server into the "Host Name" box.

  8. Type the port of the SSH server into the "Port" box.

  9. Click "SSH" under "Connection Type."

  10. Save the session and authentication settings by typing a name for the session in the "Saved Sessions" box and clicking "Save." You can use these settings again by clicking the name of the session and clicking "Load."

  11. Connect to the SSH server by clicking "Open."

  12. Type your user name into the terminal when prompted and press "Enter."

  13. Provide the answer for the keyboard-interactive authentication prompt by typing it and pressing "Enter."

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About the Author

Chris Hoffman

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around tech geek who writes for PC World, MakeUseOf, and How-To Geek. He's been using Windows since Windows 3.1 was released in 1992.

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