OpenSSH is now included with Windows 10 (as of October 2018). Depending on your version of Windows, the feature may or may not be installed by default.

Step 1: Check if SSH is enabled

To check if SSH is enabled on your system, open a command prompt and end the command ssh. If it provides you with help for using SSH, it is already enabled! You should be able to follow the Linux instructions using the ssh-keygen command from the command prompt.

Step 2: Enable the SSH client

SSH is considered an optional feature of Windows and may not be installed by default. To enable it, follow these steps:

  • Open your settings
  • Go to Apps > Apps and Features > Manage Optional Features
  • Check the list to see if “OpenSSH Client” is already enabled
  • If you do not see “OpenSSH Client”, click Add a Feature
  • Find OpenSSH Client in the list of features and click Install

You should now see OpenSSH Client in your list of features and be able to run the ssh-keygen command similar to the Linux instructions.

Note: If you do not see OpenSSH Client as an available optional feature, your version of Windows 10 may not support it. Instead of OpenSSH, you can use PuTTYgen to generate your .ppk file and then connect using PuTTY.

PuTTY Alternative

Traditionally on Windows, people have used a tool called PuTTY to ssh to a remote system. PuTTYgen is an included tool that provides a graphical interface for generating PuTTY ppk files (public/private keys). This is a file that contains both private and public keys, readable by PuTTY. If you would like to use PuTTY, you can find more information on generating keys on the PuTTY website.