[lug] Windows/PuTTY and Linux SSH Key Pair Compatibility

BC bcarr at purgatoire.org
Fri Dec 28 14:59:03 MST 2018

My initial guess would be that the user generated the key, copied it 
using a Windows utility that added a CR to every LF. If you run it 
through a dos2unix util on the Linus box it may fix it. In the 
alternative, you could ask the user to generate a new key and follow 
the instructions in PuTTY about exporting the key (PuTTY will do it 
without adding the CR to every LF) to you.

If you need better instructions about how to do this, I can dig them 
up pretty easily.

On 12/28/2018 2:21 PM, D. Stimits wrote:
> I'm trying to find out what is possible for copying a 
> Windows-generated RSA public key (puttygen) to a Linux server. I do 
> not have physical access, and I have my own key set up since I 
> personally only use Linux to log in, but need to add a login for 
> another user...and that user is using Windows. The trouble is that 
> the public key is not what I expected...it is multi-line, it 
> contains other comment, so on. It looks more like an email PGP key, 
> but ignoring actual body content, this is the format:
> Comment: "rsa-key-20181228"
> ABC...cut...TEn
> DEF...cut...HHN
> ghi...cut...W2L
> JkL...cut...YYB
> XYZ...cut...srW
> Foo...cut...Bar
> ---- END SSH2 PUBLIC KEY ----
> So far as I know, the Linux style ".ssh/authorized_keys" would use a 
> single line, and I am guesing that simply concatenating that content 
> like an OpenSSH style single key might break it. I could have other 
> ssh logins ready before doing this, so it isn't 100% that breaking 
> this would lock me out, but I'd rather hear from someone who has 
> done this before what the correct way is.
> Or, if there are comments on whether alternates to PuTTY (e.g., 
> WinSCP) have worked out when a Windows user needs to occasionally 
> copy a file to a Linux server (mostly just PDF files to a document 
> directory). My goal is to have the Windows user with a single ssh 
> key and keyless login.
> Thanks!

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