Connect to Linux from Windows by using PuTTY

  • Last updated on: 2016-06-24
  • Authored by: Rackspace Support

After you have created a new cloud server with the control panel, you need to make a secure remote connection from your local computer to your cloud server. This article describes how to use a client called PuTTY to form an Secure Shell (SSH) connection from a computer running a Microsoft Windows OS to a Linux server.

Note: This procedure requires you to install PuTTY or another SSH client which you do at your own risk. PuTTY is not affiliated with Rackspace in any way, but the software is simple to use, freely available, and reputable.

If you are a Mac OS X user, you can connect to a Linux server by using Terminal, a console program included with the operating system.

For an OnMetal server, see the Create OnMetal Cloud Servers article for applicable OnMetal steps.

Windows version

The procedure and examples in this article use Windows XP, Service Pack 2. Different versions of Windows might have slightly different interfaces.

Download PuTTY

  1. Download PuTTY from the PuTTY website. Be sure to comply with the license requirements.

  2. Launch the client.

Configure your connection

  1. In the PuTTY Configuration window, enter the following values:
  • For Host Name enter the IP address of your cloud server.
  • Ensure that the connection type is set to SSH.
  • (Optional) In the Saved Sessions field, assign a name for this connection. Assigning a name saves time the next time that you use Putty. You can assign a different name for each of your cloud servers.
  1. Click Open.

Accept the key

If this is the first time that you have used PuTTY to log in to your server with SSH, a warning similar to the following one is displayed:

The server’s host key is not cached in the registry. You have no guarantee that the server is the computer you think it is. The server’s rsa2 key fingerprint is: <string>. If you trust this host, hit Yes to add the key to PuTTY’s cache and carry on connecting. If you want to carry on connecting just once, without adding the key to the cache, hit No. If you do not trust this host, hit Cancel to abandon the connection.

If you are sure that you have entered the correct information, click Yes. Subsequent connections will not show this warning because the host key is now cached in the registry of your local computer. You can expect to see that warning, however, if you connect to your server from a different computer.

Enter your username and password

After you accept the warning, the terminal prompts you for your username and password.

If this is the first time that you are logging in to the server, you must log in as the root user.

When you are prompted for the password for the root user, enter the current root password for this server. When you enter this password at the prompt, it is not echoed to the screen. Then, press Enter.

If you have entered the correct root password, the prompt responds with a shell prompt:

[root@yourservername ~]#

Now you can work on your server with all permissions.

Change your root passwords

We recommend that you change the root password to something personal. You can easily do this by using the passwd command.

  1. From the shell prompt, enter the passwd command.
  2. Enter the new password that you want to set for your server. The password does not echo to the screen.
  3. Reenter the new password and press Enter.

You will now use this password with the root user when you connect to your server.

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