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Okay, so I REALLY couldn’t stand it.  PuTTY:  well, we can’t just launch it from our last attempts It seems to want Pageant. So on that once every quarter occasion when I want to go in (long enough to forget exactly what I need to do to make it work – thus NEGATING the time savings I was hoping for…), I’m going to have to remember to open Pageant, FIND the key(s), add the key as Pageant doesn’t seem to remember them (and did some scouring there.. yes there are shortcuts, but..), blah blah blah.

I’m looking for a ONE click access to this – similar to my usually loved CuteFTP.  I want to get into a site NOW, not do 10 minutes of “How do I…” brain and computer scouring.

Here’s what I came up with.  Yes, you still want to generate the Public/Private keys as in the post Using SSH Putty and WHM. Still have to have the keys. Just don’t want to have to remember to fire up pageant. Since I use this so infrequently, I am likely to remember PuTTY, but not Pageant and then will be banging my head wondering what I am doing wrong.

So now the config’ing is going to be in PuTTY. We will NOT be firing up Pageant for this.

We need to fire up PuTTY for the original config.

As below, you can either use the IP or the Host Name (server name in fully qualified domain name format).  Give it a name now to keep things simple.  MyServerName is great for demo.  Tap the name in and click “Save”.

1-basic-putty-setup

Now let’s config a few other things.  We want to make this as frickin’ simple as possible. If you were to launch this now, it would ask you about a few different things.  It would give you grief as there’s no Pageant running to hand out authentication stuff. And of course, it would want to know what account you want to use to login and then what is the password for the key pair.  We’ll be able to take that down to just asking for the password for the key pair.  Still one too many things for me to have to remember but it is a whole lot better than it was.  Geeesh.

Add in the username for the account on the server we'll be using

Add in the username for the account on the server we’ll be using

So let’s hop to the Connection > Data and fill in the Auto-login username. Should match whatever you want to use to login to the target server with. Duh. Simple enough. One more bit of info automated.

And then finally let’s grab our PPK file so we don’t have to use Pageant every time. Go on down in the PuTTY config to the Connection > SSH > Auth. And now we’ll pull in the Private key file for authentication. I’ve gone ahead and tapped in the PPK file name in. Just browse to yours. I suggest keeping it in your documents folder or something that gets backed up actually. You DO backup your files occasionally at least, yes??

NOW, go back to the Session, click it and then click SAVE again on the MyServerName config area.

Add that private key file in..

Add that private key file in..

Go ahead and click “Open” for that config and make sure you can connect. That should be the final step in configuring PuTTY.   And now the last step…

We’re going to configure out Windows Shortcut – I keep all my remote connection icons/shortcuts in a particular area on my desktop and I want one simple icon to just pop and get into that server. With the default shortcut, you still have to go in and select a “Saved Session” or profile for that server.  Let’s make our life simple by telling the PuTTY application exactly what profiles/session we want when we launch.

4-windows-shortcut-putty

And finally – add a targeted shortcut for PuTTY

Save your shortcut. And voila.

Give it a quick double-click and you will be presented with a nice command window holding the sweet beauty that is your new PuTTY access – with only a single (or double) click needed to launch. Enter the password that you used when creating your key and you’re good to go. No more “Where DID I upt that ridiculous key, what is the address, etc. You just have to remember the one password, so I personally made it the one I can remember without too much difficulty (one of my internal network passwords). BOOM – we’re done.

Finally - You HAVE Your PuTTY setup!