SSH on Windows 10 – Goodbye PuTTy!

Update 2-2018: not so fast. Wait another six months and try again. PuTTY is still the most useful for now 🙁

The Dev Ops software development model left Microsoft Windows behind some time ago, but Microsoft is fighting back with a native Linux sub-system in Windows 10!

Here’s how to install it and mercifully use, for example, SSH from the command line. Yes, there are other ways to do this, but this just makes life much, much easier and more streamlined. YMMV.

Thank you, PuTTY, for being there for so long. I never really liked you, but you did the job well!

Also, make sure to check out Microsoft SQL Server 2017 on Linux!

Note: there are now TWO ways to do this: Install Linux or install just an SSH client. See bottom for client only install.


Right-click open Powershell as Administrator and paste:

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux

Let that run. It may ask for a reboot or you may see this at the end meaning you don’t need to:

Path :
Online : True
RestartNeeded : False

You might want to restart anyway, but I forged ahead and went to the Windows Store and searched “linux”

I then installed Ubuntu (16.04 LTS!).

Started it up (didn’t feel like blurring out sensitive information in a screengrab) and, voila! Native SSH (among other things)! Woohoo!


Here’s a link to Microsoft’s Linux Subsystem complete instructions.

UPDATED 12-15-2017

You can also just install the SSH Client!

Windows Start > search "manage optional features"
From the list select "OpenSSH Client (Beta)"

You probably do NOT want to install the Server unless you want to deal with exposing your machine any further. Reboot seems to be not necessary for some, but do it anyway.

Tip: seems you always need to do

ssh user@[host]

You can’t just do

ssh host

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