How To Create a Public/Private KeyPair to use with Putty

The following how-to will show you how to create a public/private keypair via your hosting control panel and then to setup PUTTY to login to your SSH account via your private key:

1. Login to your hosting control panel at http://yourdomain.com/cpanel/

2. Click on the "SSH/Shell Access" icon within the Security section of your hosting control panel.

3. Click on Manage SSH Keys.

4. Click on the "Generate a new Key" link.

5. In the Key name text box put in: yourdomain_dsa. Enter in a key password. Select DSA and 1024 from the drop down box and then click the Generate Key button.

6. When you are back on the "Manage SSH Keys" page, click on the "Manage Authorization" link on same row as your public key. Click the Authorize button.

7. When you are back on the "Manage SSH Keys" page, click on the "View/Download" link within the same row as your private key. You will need to convert your private key to a ppk format so you can use it with PUTTY. Enter the password that you chose in step 5 in the passphrase text and then click on the Convert button.

8. Click on the Download Key button and save the ppk file in an easy to remember location on your computer.

9. Open up Putty.

10. Type in your domain name in the Host Name text box. Make sure Port is set to 22. Make sure the connection type is set to SSH. In the Saved Sessions text box put in your domain name again and click the save button.

11. In the left hand menu, select Data under the Connection heading/category. In the "Auto-login username" text box put in the account username of your hosting account. It will be the same as the username that you use when you log in to your hosting control panel.

12. In the left hand menu, expand Connection --> SSH.

13. Select Auth under the Connection --> SSH heading/category. In the "Private key file for authentication" text box click the Browse button and select the ppk file you previously downloaded. Please remember if you move this file you will need to update your PUTTY session to reflect the new location.

14. In the left hand menu, select the Session heading/category. Make sure your session name is listed in the Saved Sessions text box and click on the Save button. Now click on Open, say Yes to the security alert that asks you if you trust this key, enter your password and you should be logged in.

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