Convert OpenSSH private key to PuTTY private key for GitHub

Jernej Virag

February 16, 2010

Recently I started using GitHub as Git source control repository. I'm using Git Extensions for GUI repository management on Windows. When setting it up with GitHub I've followed the instructions in the GitHub guide and I ended up with my private SSH key generated in OpenSSH format.

Problem is, Git Extensions uses PuTTY for SSH communication, which stores its SSH keys in different format. The solution is using PuTTYgen (bundled with Git Extensions) to load the private key (which is stored in id_rsa file in C:\Users\<username>\.ssh folder if default settings were used) and then save it (be sure to use Save private key button) again in PuTTY .ppk file.

Import dialog

After that, the SSH key in .ppk file has to be loaded into Git Extensions by clicking Load SSH Key in Manage remote repositories dialog.

Manage remote repositories dialog