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Installing CYGWIN + SSHD for remote access through SSH on windows
Installing CYGWIN with SSH
1) Download cygwin setup.exe from
- Execute setup.exe
- Install from internet
- Root directory: `c:\cygwin` + all users
- Local package directory: use default value
- Select a mirror to download files from
- Select these packages:
- editors > xemacs 21.4.22-1
- net > openssh 6.1-p
- admin > cygrunsrv 1.40-2
- Click continue
- When everything is installed configure SSHD
2) Configure SSHD
- open a cygwin terminal: start > RIGHT MOUSE ON "Cygwin terminal" AND "RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR"
- $ ssh-host-config
- Are you sure you want to continue: YES
- You have the required privileges: YES
- Overwrite existing /etc/ssh_config: YES
- Should privilege separation be used: YES
- Use local account 'sshd': YES
- Do you want to install 'sshd' as a service: YES
- name CYGWIN: just press enter
- Do you want to use a different name: no
+++ you can skip this ++
- Create new privileged user account (cyg_server): YES
- enter password
- reenter password
+++ end of skip ++
3) Add a SSHD account
- Open control panel
- Create a new account with administrator rights
- set a password for this new account
4) Add the user to SSHD password
$ cd /etc/
$ cp passwd passwd_bak
$ /bin/mkpasswd.exe -l -u [new_username] >> /etc/passwd
(for example: /bin/mkpasswd.exe -l -u roxlu >> /etc/passwd to add the password for roxlu)
5) Open SSHD port (22)
- Open control panel
- Click on System and Security
- Click on Windows Firewall
- On the left click on advanced settings
- click: select "Inbound Rules"
- click: New Rule ...
- [x] Port
Specific ports: 22
- [x] Allow the connection
- [x] Domain
[x] Private
[x] Public
6) Trouble shooting
- first check if you can connect to the SSHD server on the same machine:
- open a Cygwin terminal
$ ssh -l [username] localhost
If you can't connect to the server on localhost check if the sshd daemon is running (see blow)
- check if the SSHD daemon is runing
- open control panel
- search for "services"
- click on "View local services"
- search for "CYGWIN sshd"
- make sure it's there, else try reinstalling sshd
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faughnn commented Oct 30, 2015

I was hoping to find an automated process for this as I need to do this on 20+ machines. No luck

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Nice walkthrough.

You may want to add a line for starting the sshd service like: net start sshd

On a new install, sshd service is not started automatically.

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wrlee commented May 11, 2017

I have ssh set up. I have a problem accessing LAN resources (servers, etc.). net view works, but trying to access any net servers gives an error. Even net use doesn't work. Network resources that are normally mounted are unavailable when I ssh in. What am I missing?

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This tutorial is really helpful. I appreciate you sharing it :)

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You can also start sshd from a Cygwin shell with cygrunsrv -S sshd
if you prefer.

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li-wu commented Nov 28, 2017

I have written a PowerShell script just for your reference:

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Eno77 commented May 3, 2018

Somebody got an issue with disappearing SSHD service in windows 10 1803?
I had everything set up and running in 1709.

If I run the command again, it says:
*** Info: Sshd service is already installed.

But it is not shown in Windows Services anymore. (And I cant connect either).

Reinstall everything?
The privileged Account is still there...

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ggets commented May 14, 2018

@Eno77 I've got the same problem with 1803. The service is missing. Running sshd itself works. Definitely a problem with the service.

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ggets commented May 14, 2018

@Eno77, do you happen to have a WSL installation on the 1803?

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ggets commented May 14, 2018

I found the culprit. Cygwin's OpenSSH (sshd) service is conflicting with Windows' one. To fix that I edited /usr/bin/ssh-host-config and changed service_name=sshd to service_name=cygsshd and then rerun /usr/bin/ssh-host-config. Not sure where to report this issue, though.

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octimis commented Jul 28, 2018

There is no passwd file in the, cygwin64\etc, directory.

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I have downloaded and configure ssh via cygwin did I suppose to use Cygwin to run ionic pro instead of cmd, because while i run ionic pro on cmd i have an error of : ionic ssh setup [WARN] OpenSSH not found on your computer. [ERROR] Command not found: ssh
and from the app folder where i want the package to install, the package is not fully installed, there is no index page and other necessary files.

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Here are some alternate instructions from Oracle.

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If you can not connect remotely, try to change default port through sshd_config file and restart service.

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net start sshd

Thank you, this is what I needed.

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Saved me! Thanks

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how do I know the password? I can reach the local host and I get the login prompt but I don't know which user and password to use. where I can see that or can I create a default user to login locally ?

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By default, I believe that all users are authorized to use SSH so the username and password is the windows username and password. You can update the sshd_config file to restrict accounts but the password is always the windows password. There may be a way to bypass that but I've always used it in this way.

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Thank. I tried my user with my password, and it didn't work, I tried my user with domain and password, and it didn't work either. I believe that my laptop has some security policies that don't allow me to make this setup.

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The sshd logs should give hints on the issue. There could be some policy or other( anti malware/virus tools?) at play. Check this out for logging.

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petemoore commented Jan 25, 2023


I was hoping to find an automated process for this as I need to do this on 20+ machines. No luck

See (although I realise I'm pointing this out 7 years after you asked!!!) 😆

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roxlu commented Jan 26, 2023

I love it that these gists are still read and maybe are usefull to someone.

Meanwhile you could also check the built in server which is part of Win 10.

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faughnn commented Feb 2, 2023


I was hoping to find an automated process for this as I need to do this on 20+ machines. No luck

See (although I realise I'm pointing this out 7 years after you asked!!!) laughing

lol brings me back. First week of a job I've long left

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