So far we have covered how to use private keys with putty by loading them from the GUI or command line and typing the private key passphrase for each new SSH session. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a way to load your private key, type the passphrase once, and use it all day?! Enter Pageant, another tool in the Putty suite.

This one is pretty straight forward. Open Pageant, add your keys (that’s right you can load more than one to be used), and machine gun SSH session like a boss.

Totally useful screenshot here.

The one thing I do differently is I create a shortcut to Pageant, right click the shortcut, and select properties. Then I add my keys to the end of the “Target” parameter.

“C:\Program Files (x86)\Putty\PAGEANT.EXE” “D:\pathtokeys\username.ppk” “X:\pathtokeys\orgname.ppk”

This will load two keys when you run the shortcut and prompt you for each password, unless the password for both them is the same. (You wouldn’t do something like use the same password for EVERYTHING, right? Oh good, we can still be friends)

Now when you launch an SSH connection, as long as you provided a username, you will just be connected… automagically (no spell check I disagree, that IS a word).