Creating a SSH Public Key on Windows

In order to create a SSH key for windows you can follow these steps.

Generate your keys with Putty

  1. download putty
  2. start “PUTTYgen” from the start menu
  1. click the Generate (1) button and follow the screen instructions

4.) Fill the fields for comment (1) and add your name for instance 5.) Add a passphrase for your pivate key (2, 3) 6.) Save you private key in a protected place on the local filesystem (4) 7.) Copy the displayed public key and add it to your Gerrit account


Keep in mind that putty uses a proprietary format to store keys, which is incompatible with OpenSSH, when you use any of the save-buttons. If you need to store you private key in the OpenSSH format use the menu item Conversions->Export OpenSSH key.

Use pageant to load your pivate key on startup

Putty provides a key agent named “pageant”, which can be added to your autostart folder. This allows you to enter your passphrase only once at startup and any tools using putty (e.g. git-for-windows, tortoisegit, etc.) can automatically use your private key.

In order to achieve this, create a new shortcut in the following folder: :file: ` C:Users<username>AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsStartup`.

The target of the shortcut must be:

%ProgramFiles(x86)%\PuTTY\pageant.exe "<full path to your saved private key.ppk>"

pageant will run as background task and will place a nice little icon into your tray icons.