PuTTY Key Generator
, also known by the
gen moniker, is a small yet efficient program that can generate RSA and DSA keys for use with the OpenSSH authorized_keys file. It is a component of
and can be installed automatically with the Telnet client, but the chances are you would also see it incorporated in other third-party software.
Following a speedy setup operation that shouldn’t give you any trouble, you reach the main app window, where you can find a well-organized set of options that aren’t difficult to operate, but in case you do experience any difficulty whatsoever, resorting to the well-documented user manual should be of great help.
PuTTY Key Generator is able to create both public and private keys. The first step you need to take for this purpose is to indicate the type of key you are interested in, and the options you are providing with are: SSH-1 (RSA), SSH-2 (RSA), SSH-2 (DSA), SSH-2 (ECDSA), and SSH-2 (ED25519).
It is also important to customize the strength of the key, which is given by the number of bits in the output – the higher the amount, the stronger the key. At this point, you are ready to initiate the generation engine, and your intervention might be required in doing so.
The success and completion of the process depend on the random data that is necessary for the delivery of the key, and as such, you are asked to move the mouse around a blank area in order to include as much random information as possible. Prior to saving the key, it is recommended that you secure it with a passphrase that should be strong enough in order to prevent decryption from an outside party. Moreover, coming up with a key comment is possible.
Aside from that, it is worth pointing out that loading an existing key is possible as well so that you can change the aforementioned details – passphrase and comments as you see fit. Users might also be interested in the fact that conversion functionality is also integrated into the program in case you don’t find its native PPK format suitable for your needs.
Overall, PuTTY Key Generator paves the way to secure SSH authentications by generating RSA or DSA keys with an adjustable size. Given the fact that the output key files can be used with any third-party application that supports SSH along with the fact that the app proved responsive and easy to use during our tests, we highly recommend you to take it for a spin.