Scott Hanselman

It's happening - OpenSSH for Windows...from Microsoft

October 22, '15 Comments [25] Posted in Open Source
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OpenSSH for Windows

Back in June the folks over at the Microsoft PowerShell blog indicated they were going to support SSH in Windows soon. I read the post a few times and I must admit I read deeply between the lines and enjoyed the post very much. For example, this passage, with emphasis mine.

Finally, I'd like to share some background on today’s announcement, because this is the 3rd time the PowerShell team has attempted to support SSH.  The first attempts were during PowerShell V1 and V2 and were rejected.  Given our changes in leadership and culture, we decided to give it another try and this time, because we are able to show the clear and compelling customer value, the company is very supportive.  So I want to take a minute and thank all of you in the community who have been clearly and articulately making the case for why and how we should support SSH! 

Fast forward a few months and they've just released a VERY early version. It's not quite useful enough for a daily driver but it's heartening that it's happening. Sure, it's late, and ya, it should have happened years ago, but it's happening and it'll be built in. SSH will be one less thing to worry about.

Note as they said:

With this initial milestone complete, we are now making the code publicly available and open for public contributions. Please note that this code is still very early and should be treated as a developer preview and is not supported for use in production.

The repository is over at and the first release is here I just unblocked the zip and unzipped it into my c:\utils folder so it was in my path.

I SSH'ed into an Ubuntu machine I have running in Azure like this:

>ssh -p 12345

I did have an issue immediately with an error and some formatting, which I filed and also discussed here. I was able to mostly work around with it "export TERM=xterm" but I'm sure they'll fix it, as again, it's super early.

As an alternative SSH client, try the Bitvise SSH Client. It has a command line app called "stermc" that acts like SSH. I made an ssh.bat file that contains just "stermc %1" and this let's me shush around nicely.

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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Thursday, 22 October 2015 13:05:58 UTC
Is this just the client or is it also the server side of SSH? IE, will I be able to connect to a Windows machine from an SSH client with this?
Thursday, 22 October 2015 13:15:40 UTC
In case that's not intended, the domain you meant to hide still shows up in the window title.
Mathieu Leenhardt
Thursday, 22 October 2015 13:22:20 UTC
Hi Scott, you tried to hide some info at the screenshot, but if you look closely at the titlebar :)
Thursday, 22 October 2015 13:34:11 UTC
Yes, thanks, fixed.

Kim - This is the client, but I'm assuming (as a user) that the server will show up at some point. I'll ask the owners on Twitter.
Thursday, 22 October 2015 14:12:36 UTC
There is a server included in the release (sshd.exe). I gave it a try and managed to connect to it just fine, but it's very clearly early alpha. Most things I tried to do failed, but it's a good start.

It'd be great to have a real openssh server when working with Windows-people!
Daniel Pihlström
Thursday, 22 October 2015 16:01:13 UTC
I've used git bash for ssh for a few years since it's better than needing cygwin or mucking with putty. That said, I'm looking forward to a more native integration that will work in both directions.
Thursday, 22 October 2015 17:08:30 UTC
I've been having a rough week, and then this shows up. YES! Thank you, Microsoft. All of the sudden, my week is on an upward swing. Thank you for sharing this.
Thursday, 22 October 2015 17:24:13 UTC
SSH clients for windows are a sort of a solved problem (using putty here). The interesting part is when powershell starts supporting ssh protocol (so you can log in to windows machines from any OS, and can use full screen terminal applications there). Shouldn't be far away based on Powershell teams announcement...
Thursday, 22 October 2015 18:13:40 UTC
This is huge tbh! I was debating getting a home PC for myself and another for my family's home and this compels me to do it so much more (because gaming and coding on Windows can happen in harmony).

And it's open so I can send patches? Look at y'all, heh!
Thursday, 22 October 2015 19:46:46 UTC
Use MobaXterm - a great tool which SFTP, FTP, VNC and really many other features.. Cant imagine how I ever could work with Putty back then ;)
Thursday, 22 October 2015 20:34:26 UTC
It's about freakin time! And can we get rid of the "cmd" prompt from DOS too? :) Maybe a real modern "terminal" app, that I can cut and past into? ;)
Micoscroft Bob
Thursday, 22 October 2015 23:05:15 UTC
Did you see the effect this announcement had on MSFT stock prices today? Wow.
greg morris
Friday, 23 October 2015 05:03:45 UTC
12345? That's incredible, I have the same combination on my luggage!
Friday, 23 October 2015 08:12:34 UTC
Even though you have edited out the server name and port number in the screenshot, both are still visible in the image cached by Facebook. When users see a link to this article there they can see the full server name and port.

Time to start filtering anything that doesn't come from an IP address that you don't control, I guess.
Friday, 23 October 2015 09:52:21 UTC
Javi - Ya, I'm just gonna move it.
Scott Hanselman
Friday, 23 October 2015 21:08:41 UTC
The SSH Client installer now supports the -activationCode parameter. This allows a license code to be applied to the SSH Client during initial installation or an upgrade. The SSH Client will operate with full functionality with or without a license code, but applying it allows users to indicate their licensed status.
Saturday, 24 October 2015 18:59:01 UTC
I'm glad to see a release... Been using gitextensions (msysgit) with bash in conemu for over a year now... Will be really nice when a windows server is available for this.

Aside: the comment bots have gotten more clever.
Sunday, 25 October 2015 00:18:07 UTC
This is a poor start to getting something useful into windows. I install cygwin and use it almost exclusively when I have to work on windows computers. It at least has commands that do something! I am appalled at how slow microsoft has been on getting a good command line. And powershell is a step backward as far as I am concerned. But then I have a good solution!
Byron Palmer
Sunday, 25 October 2015 04:47:15 UTC
Very nice to have in the box. There are some useful programs based on SSH, like "scp", "sftp" and, to some extent, "rsync". Maybe these'll make it in eventually.
Pete Smith
Monday, 26 October 2015 10:35:40 UTC
From what I can remember this reminds me of college.
Monday, 26 October 2015 18:00:40 UTC
Do you know if this will also support keygen? I mainly use SSH in conjunction with git to push/pull code and being able to generate a new key from the command prompt would be ideal.

In the meantime I have a couple script that "glue" together git, poshgit, and ssh installed with git together so I can generate my keys and work with all of it nicely:
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 10:31:32 UTC
marcos, so that any Windows-related guide or manual will become a bunch of incomprehensible words, just like with Lunix? No way! War ssh!
Thursday, 05 November 2015 22:38:19 UTC
@Micoscroft Bob

Try Windows 10
Peter Adam
Friday, 06 November 2015 01:29:03 UTC
Good stuff but like others have found git bash has it already and more, it has dd even.

One thing you might take a look at, something I stumbled on after adding lxde and xrdp to my remarkably capable $5 a month DigitalOcean instantly provisioned Ubuntu VM is byobu. If we are going back to being command line cowboys for things like dnvm, dnu, dnx, npm and the like then byobu is where I will be doing it.

And yes I know VM's are so last century, and dockers are the here and now, but VM's are still fun. What I do for giggle is have all my ras pi's ssh -R to it for my own little bot net.

Saturday, 12 December 2015 02:55:42 UTC
In case that's not intended, the domain you meant to hide still shows up in the window title.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.