Amazon AWS VPC – PEM, SSH and Putty….

I recently had to connect from Windows to Amazon hosted Ubuntu VPC. Putty for Windows generally does the job but Amazon uses a key file with extension PEM. Putty on the other hand uses key file with extension PPK. To facilitate the connection between Putty and Amazon one must thus create a PPK file and configure Putty accordingly. The utility to convert PEM file to PPK file is called PuttyGen and is downloaded from the same web page as Putty

Here are the steps:

  • Open PuttyGen and select Conversions -> Import Key
  • Load the PEM file which you got from Amazon
  • Select Save Private Key (you can ignore the password warning)
  • Save the file to known location or to wherever you save such file s(e.g. Document folder)

Now go to Putty and follow these steps:

  • Specify the address for your Amazon hosted Ubuntu (or whatever other Linux server)
  • On the left hand side select Data and specify Auto-login username – for Ubuntu it by default is Ubuntu
  • Again on the left hand side expand SSH under Connection tree and select Auth
  • Click browse and select your PPK file
  • Go back to Session on the left and presumably save this for future use

Hope this helps out someone.


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