Generating an encryption key in PuTTY

Posted on • 2 min read

Tags: security

I'm using PuTTY a lot more at the moment, because I've recently switched my blog over to a VPS, so I'm regularly using SSH to connect to it. I'll be posting a post about that move soon, but thought I'd take the time to document how to go about generating an encryption key in PuTTY that you can then use for your encryption needs.

If you haven't already, go and download PuTTY.

Once you've installed it with the default options, search for and open PuTTYgen.

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The following process to generate your key couldn't be simpler, and is almost fun!

Once PuTTY Key Generator is open, leave the RSA radio button selected, and change the Number of bits in a generated key: to 4096 for that added security.

It's then as simple as pressing Generate, and doing some wonderfully creative mouse movements to generate some randomness for your key (make sure you add a funny soundtrack).

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Hey Presto! You'll then see your public key, which you can use right away for whatever purpose you wish! It'll look something like this:

ssh-rsa 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 rsa-key-20180710

I tend to replace the default Key comment field for my own sanity, and I like to add a very long Key passphrase for even more security.

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Make sure you save your public and private key's by clicking Save public key and Save private key. Ensure you save them somewhere only you can access, especially the private key.

Simple as that!