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Convert a .ppk private key (Putty) to a base64/pem private key for OpenSSH or OpenSSL

You can convert your Putty private keys (.ppk) to base64 files for OpenSSH or OpenSSL.

With puttygen on Linux/BSD/Unix-like

If you are using the unix cli tool, run the following command:

puttygen my.ppk -O private-openssh -o my.key

You can also generate a public key for your SSH servers using one of the two following commands based on your server:

puttygen my.ppk -O public-openssh -o
puttygen my.ppk -O public -o

You private key can be used with OpenSSH or Openssl-based software. The public key can be used with OpenSSH.

Although we recommend using different private keys as much as possible, you can reuse the newly generated key to make a CSR using OpenSSL.

With Puttygen on Windows

  • Open Puttygen and click on Load in the Actions section.
    Puttygen - Main window - Load
  • Then, select your PPK file.
    Puttygen - File selection - PPK
  • Your key has been imported.
    Puttygen - Main window - Imported key
  • Then, go to the Conversions menu and select Export OpenSSH key.
    Puttygen - Main window - Conversions menu - Export OpenSSH key
  • Name your private key and save it.
    Puttygen - File selection - Private key
  • In the main window, select Save public key in the Actions section.
    Puttygen - Main window - Save public key
  • Name and save your public key.
    Puttygen - File selection - Public key

See Also