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How to Create a Native SSH Server on Your Windows 10 System « Null Byte :: WonderHowTo

With the addition of the OpenSSH client along with server from the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, you no longer have to rely on third-party programs to open an SSH server along with connect to a Windows machine. While still a beta feature, This particular represents a long-overdue update fulfilling a promise made back in 2015.

The OpenSSH client allows you to SSH into remote servers directly via the Windows command line. The server lets remote clients connect to your Windows 10 system, where they will be able to receive a command prompt for your system remotely. If you are familiar with OpenSSH via Linux, then you’ll be right at home with the Windows 10 type.

OpenSSH for Windows will be definitely in beta form along with should only be used in a safe, testing environment such as your home network. This particular shouldn’t be used in production or opened to the internet. which being said, as time goes on, This particular implementation of OpenSSH should grow more secure along with useful.

To follow This particular guide, you’ll need a Windows 10 computer which has been fully updated. Before starting, make sure to check for along with install any updates Windows may have or these steps may not work properly. To check for updates, you can go to the Start button, along with then go to “Settings” –> “Update & security” –> “Windows Update,” then click on “Check for updates.”

Step 1: Enable Developer Mode

To begin, we need to ensure which the Windows system will be set to “Developer mode,” otherwise the item will be impossible to download these beta features. Navigate to the search bar on the bottom left of your screen. Search for “developers settings” along with the item should appear under Best match from the results. Select the item to open the settings.

currently you should see the Use developer features menu. The “Windows Store apps” setting will be selected by default, so click on “Developer mode” to enable the item. the item should take a few moments to install the 6 MB file, along with just like which, you’re a Windows developer!

Step 2: Install the OpenSSH Server

Once developer mode will be enabled, we’re ready to install OpenSSH, along with there are a few ways to do This particular, depending on your preferences. We’ll cover both PowerShell along with DISM.

Method 1: Using PowerShell

The entire install process can be done in PowerShell, which will be more convenient if you are installing OpenSSH on more than one computer. This particular could easily be turned into a USB Rubber Ducky script to make the process of setting up an SSH server lighting-fast. Some hackers might even start using This particular as a way to create an SSH backdoor on Windows systems.

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First, run PowerShell as the administrator by pressing Windows + X on your keyboard along with clicking on “Windows PowerShell (Admin).” Then, check to ensure which the OpenSSH features are available for installation by running the following command.

Get-WindowsCapability -Online | ? Name -like ‘OpenSSH*’

The shell should return “NotPresent” which means which the server isn’t yet downloaded. As you can see, I contain the OpenSSH Client installed, along with the server will be available for installation.

Assuming OpenSSH will be available, you can install the server with the following command. If the item will be not available, make sure your system will be updated along with which developer mode will be enabled, as those are the two most common problems which can cause This particular.

Add-WindowsCapability -Online -Name OpenSSH.Server~~~~0.0.1.0

Note which the prompt may say a restart isn’t needed, yet the item’s my experience which a restart will be, in fact, required. When the process will be complete, you should see something like the screen below.

Method 2: Using DISM

If you’d prefer to use the command-line over PowerShell, Deployment Image Servicing along with Management (DISM) will be a command-line tool which we can also use to install the OpenSSH server.

To begin installing OpenSSH with DISM, open a command prompt as an administrator. This particular can be done by searching for “CMD” from the search bar at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Right-click on “Command Prompt” along with then select “Run as Administrator.”

Check which the OpenSSH features are available with the following command.

dism /Online /Get-Capabilities | findstr OpenSSH

If you get the following, then you are ready to install the server.

Install the server with This particular command:

dism /Online /Add-Capability /CapabilityName:OpenSSH.Server~~~~0.0.1.0

You will need to reboot the computer after installation.

Step 3: Generate Host Keys

currently which we contain the server installed, we need to generate host keys so the SSH server will be able to authenticate clients while the item’s in use. To do This particular, we will open PowerShell as the administrator by pressing Windows + X along with clicking on “Windows PowerShell (Admin).” Start the ssh-agent with the following command.

Start-Service ssh-agent

Once the ssh-agent will be running, we can move to the OpenSSH folder along with begin generating a key. Use cd to change folders as seen from the first command below, along with then create the key with the second.

cd C:WindowsSystem32OpenSSH
.ssh-keygen -A

currently, we can add the key to our SSH server with the following command.

.ssh-add sshhosted25519_key

This particular will be the key which will be used via currently on for our SSH connections.

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Step 4: Install the OpenSSHUtils Helper Module

You could attempt to use the SSH server currently, yet if you do, you’ll run into a whole slew of errors. This particular will be because the server will be still in beta, along with will be very finicky.

To help resolve these issues, Microsoft has created the OpenSSHUtils helper module, which will appropriately add your host keys along with set permissions to the Access Control List (ACL). To install OpenSSHUtils, we will run the command below.

Install-Module -Force OpenSSHUtils

the item may also ask to install the package manager NuGet. If you don’t already contain the item, type y to install the item.

Once which’s done, we are ready to run the helper module, which should clean up those errors we saw before. Run the following command to install the item.

Repair-SshdHostKeyPermission -FilePath C:WindowsSystem32OpenSSHsshhosted25519_key

You will revive numerous prompts; use y as your response to all of the prompts to set the file permissions correctly. As you can see below, you have to say yes quite a few times.

Step 5: Open a Port from the Firewall

currently, everything should be ready to go on the SSH server side of things. We just need to open a port from the firewall so we can establish an SSH connection which has a client outside of the current Windows system. Your requirements may vary based on your environment, yet in general, the following firewall rule should work for most Windows users. Input the following command to open a local port 22 named SSH.

brand-new-NetFirewallRule -Protocol TCP -LocalPort 22 -Direction Inbound -Action Allow -DisplayName SSH

Step 6: Start Your brand-new SSH Server

which’s the item. You’re ready to start using your SSH server! One thing to note, only the built-in ED25519 authentication key type will be currently supported. There are plans to add LibreSSL from the future, which will enable additional authentication key types, yet as of yet, which has not been done. So for currently, use an ED25519 key to connect to the server.

The SSH server doesn’t start up automatically, so we have to start the item manually each time we wish to use the server by typing Start-Service sshd into our PowerShell window. You can check to see which the item’s running with Get-Service sshd.

You should always remember to stop the service when not in use with Stop-Service sshd to maintain the security of your system.

To connect to your brand-new SSH server, use your favorite SSH client such as PuTTY or the brand-new OpenSSH client. In general, you can use the following format to connect.

ssh username@host -p port

When you connect to your brand-new server, you’ll find which you get a full command prompt, which can run all command line tools, even PowerShell! With the addition of the OpenSSH Client to Windows 10 as well, you currently have an extra layer of flexibility where you can directly connect two Windows systems over SSH.

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Windows will be Easier Than Ever to Administer Remotely

The brand-new built-in SSH server will be a welcome addition to Windows 10. the item represents Microsoft taking steps to listen to developers along with system administrators to meet their needs. This particular brand-new feature allows you to manage a Windows machine much more easily, along with as Windows continues to improve along with implement OpenSSH as a full feature, I believe more along with more people will come to use the item due to its ease of use along with convenience. The days of the third-party SSH servers dominating the Windows field are numbered.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, you can ask me here or on Twitter @The_Hoid.

Cover image along with screenshots by Hoid/Null Byte

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