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Provided by: putty-tools_0.67-2_amd64


puttygen - public-key generator for the PuTTY tools


puttygen ( keyfile | -t keytype [ -b bits ] ) [ -C new-comment ] [ -P ] [ -q ] [ -O output-type | -l | -l | -P ] [ -O output-file ]


puttygen is a tool to generate and manipulate SSH public and private key pairs. It is part of the PuTTY suite, although it can also interoperate with the private key formats used by some other SSH clients. When you run puttygen, it does three things. Firstly, it either loads an existing key file (if you specified keyfile), or generates a new key (if you specified keytype). Then, it optionally makes modifications to the key (changing the comment and/or the passphrase); finally, it outputs the key, or some information about the key, to a file. All three of these phases are controlled by the options described in the following section.


In the first phase, puttygen either loads or generates a key. Note that generating a key requires random data (from /dev/random), which can cause puttygen to pause, possibly for some time if your system does not have much randomness available. The options to control this phase are: keyfile Specify a private key file to be loaded. This private key file can be in the (de facto standard) SSH-1 key format, or in PuTTY's SSH-2 key format, or in either of the SSH-2 private key formats used by OpenSSH and ssh.com's implementation. -t keytype Specify a type of key to generate. The acceptable values here are rsa and dsa (to generate SSH-2 keys), and rsa1 (to generate SSH-1 keys). -b bits Specify the size of the key to generate, in bits. Default is 2048. -q Suppress the progress display when generating a new key. In the second phase, puttygen optionally alters properties of the key it has loaded or generated. The options to control this are: -C new-comment Specify a comment string to describe the key. This comment string will be used by PuTTY to identify the key to you (when asking you to enter the passphrase, for example, so that you know which passphrase to type). -P Indicate that you want to change the key's passphrase. This is automatic when you are generating a new key, but not when you are modifying an existing key. In the third phase, puttygen saves the key or information about it. The options to control this are: -O output-type Specify the type of output you want puttygen to produce. Acceptable options are: private Save the private key in a format usable by PuTTY. This will either be the standard SSH-1 key format, or PuTTY's own SSH-2 key format. public Save the public key only. For SSH-1 keys, the standard public key format will be used (`1024 37 5698745...'). For SSH-2 keys, the public key will be output in the format specified by RFC 4716, which is a multi-line text file beginning with the line `- BEGIN SSH2 public KEY -'.

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