How to create a .ppk private key file to use with PuTTY
Connecting to a server ordered from us is very easy. However, since passwords are insecure for this sort of thing, we enforce the use of private and public keys. They’re really easy to use, you just download the private key from your control panel, point your SSH client to it, and it’ll log in for you! Unfortunately, PuTTY does not understand the private key that we give to download.
Creating a private key file that PuTTY can understand is very simple. All you will need for this is 3 minutes and PuTTYGen, which you can find here: http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html.
First, navigate to your service’s panel. You can find it under ‘services’ in your client area. It’ll look something like this:
Then scroll down until you see “Additional Tools,” and click “Download Private Key”, as illustrated below.
IMPORTANT: You can only download it once! Make sure you make a backup of the private key.
Now load up PuTTYgen, click “Conversions” at the top, and click “Import key.”
Navigate to the key you downloaded from your service panel, choose it, and click “Open.”
It’ll fill up the window with information about the private key you just imported. You can enter in a passphrase, which you will be asked for when trying to use the key, and you can set a comment, which is unimportant but can be used to make sure you’re using the right key.
Now just hit “Save Private Key” and choose a place that you will remember. Make sure that you back the resulting file up – if you lose it, you can’t easily re-obtain it.
That’s it! You can use the file you just saved to log into your server (or any server that has your public key) with PuTTY.
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