Alaska Satellite Facility - Distributed Active Archive Center

How to Connect to your EC2 Instance using PuTTY V1.1



When you have created and launched an AWS Linux EC2 instance, you can connect to it from your computer using the SSH protocol. PuTTY is a free SSH client that allows you to do this from a local computer running Windows. Once the connection has been established, you work within the EC2 instance just like you would on a local computer running Linux.


  • You must have an AWS account. If you don’t have an account, create one now.

Note: You will need to provide credit card information for your new account.

Generate a PuTTY Private Key (.ppk) File

    1. Download and install PuTTY.
    2. Open the folder that PuTTY was installed to (default path is C: > Program Files > PuTTY).
    3. Double-click on the file puttygen.exe.
    1. In PuTTY Key Generator, click the Load button and navigate to the folder that contains the private key file (.pem) created during the EC2 configuration process.
Click Load in the PuTTY Key Generator.
    1. Click on the PuTTY Private Key Files button in the lower-right corner of the window and select All Files (*.*).
Select All Files in PuTTY Private Key Files
    1. Select your private key file (.pem) and click Open.
Select and open your private key.
    1. Click OK to close the PuTTYgen Notice pop-up window.
PuTTYgen Notice
    1. In PuTTY Key Generator, make sure Type of key to generate value is set to RSA.
Generate RSA key.
    1. Click Save private key and then Yes to close the PuTTYgen Warning pop-up.
PuTTYgen Warning
    1. Navigate to the location you want to store your PuTTY Private Key file (.ppk) and give it a name.
    2. Click Save.
    3. Close the PuTTY Key Generator window.
Give your PuTTY Private Key file a name

Connect to EC2

    1. Open PuTTY by clicking on the desktop icon or the putty.exe file in the PuTTY folder.
    2. In the Host Name (or IP address) box, type “ubuntu@your_public_DNS” (1).

Note: The Public DNS for your instance is displayed in AWS in the EC2 Management Console Instance Description in the middle of the screen.

    1. Make sure:
      • Port is set to 22 (2).
      • Connection type is SSH (3).
    2. In the Category pane on the left of the PuTTY Configuration window, under Connection, click on the + next to SSH to expand the choices (4), then click on Auth (5).
    3. Under Authentication parameters, click Browse and navigate to the directory where your PuTTY Private Key (.ppk) file is located (6).
      • Click on the (.ppk) file to select it.
    4. Click Open.

Note: If you want to save these settings to use later, navigate to Sessions in the PuTTY Category tree. Enter a name in the Saved Sessions box and click Save on the right.

    1. Click Open in PuTTY Configuration to connect to your Instance.
      • If this is the first time you have connected to your Instance, a PuTTY Security Alert will ask you whether to proceed with the connection.
      • Click Yes to complete the connection.
      • The EC2 Instance window will appear (black screen below).
PuTTY Configuration window.
PuTTY Configuration window.
PuTTY Security Alert
You are now connected to your EC2 Instance