Connect to Linux from Windows by using PuTTY

  • Last updated on: 2016-01-14
  • Authored by: Rackspace Support

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Create a Cloud Server

After you have created a new cloud server with the control panel, your next step is 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.


  • For an OnMetal Server, see the Create OnMetal Cloud Servers article for applicable OnMetal steps.
  • 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 their software is simple to use, is 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.

Windows versions

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

Download PuTTY

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

After you download PuTTY, launch the application.

Configure your connection

In the PuTTY Configuration window, enter the following values and then click Open:

  • In the Host Name enter the IP address of your Cloud Server.
  • Ensure the Connection Type is set to SSH.
  • (Optional) In the Saved Sessions field, you can assign a name for this connection. Feel free to save it to whatever name you want: it simply saves time next time you use Putty. You can have a different name for each of your Cloud Servers.

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:

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

FWe 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.

Reenter the new password and press Enter.

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

Next section

Remote Connection from Mac to a Linux Server

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