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Connecting to Amazon EC2 Linux Instance from Windows Using PuTTY

PuTTY does not natively support the private key format (.pem) generated by Amazon EC2. If you load the .pem formet private key directly to PuTTY you will get error message: Unable to use key file "***.pem" (OpenSSH SSH-2 private key).

PuTTY has a tool called PuTTYgen, which can convert keys to the required PuTTY format (.ppk). You must convert your private key into this format (.ppk) before connecting to your instance using PuTTY.

How to:

2. Locate the private key.

5. Converting Your Private Key Using PuTTYgen.

  • Start puttygen.exe
  • Click Save private key to save the key in the format that PuTTY can use. Note: You can use a passphrase to add an extra layer of protection to the private key.

6. Starting a PuTTY Session

  • In the Category pane, expand Connection, expand SSH, and then select Auth.
  • Browse and select the .ppk file that you generated for your key pair, and then click Open.
  • login in as: ec2-user or ubuntu depends on the system that you selected for the instance. You can try to login as root first and find out what login name should you use.

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