OpenSSH in Windows

OpenSSH is the open-source version of the Secure Shell (SSH) tools used by administrators of Linux and other non-Windows for cross-platform management of remote systems. OpenSSH has been added to Windows (as of autumn 2018), and is included in Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019.

SSH is based on a client-server architecture where the system the user is working on is the client and the remote system being managed is the server. OpenSSH includes a range of components and tools designed to provide a secure and straightforward approach to remote system administration, including:

  • sshd.exe, which is the SSH server component that must be running on the system being managed remotely
  • ssh.exe, which is the SSH client component that runs on the user's local system
  • ssh-keygen.exe generates, manages and converts authentication keys for SSH
  • ssh-agent.exe stores private keys used for public key authentication
  • ssh-add.exe adds private keys to the list allowed by the server
  • ssh-keyscan.exe aids in collecting the public SSH host keys from a number of hosts
  • sftp.exe is the service that provides the Secure File Transfer Protocol, and runs over SSH
  • scp.exe is a file copy utility that runs on SSH

Documentation in this section focuses on how OpenSSH is used on Windows, including installation, and Windows-specific configuration and use cases.

  • Additional detailed documentation for common OpenSSH features is available online at

  • The master OpenSSH open source project is managed by developers at the OpenBSD Project. The Microsoft fork of this project is in GitHub. Feedback on Windows OpenSSH is welcomed and can be provided by creating GitHub issues in our OpenSSH GitHub repo.