Generate a Key Pair in a Windows Environment

How to create a new public-private key pair for authentication to Terra Dotta SSH servers on a Windows server or Windows workstation

1. Download and install puttygen.exe from http://www.putty.org

2. Launch puttygen.exe by double-clicking the file in your Downloads folder.

3. In the PuTTY Key Generator window, under the parameters heading, make sure that the type of key generated is set to SSH2-RSA and make sure the Number of bits in a generated key is set to at least 4096.

4. Under the Actions heading, click the Generate button.

5. Move the mouse in the area underneath the green progress bar. Random movements of the mouse allow the PuTTY Key Generator to increase the randomness of the key that is being generated.

NOTE: This process may take several minutes to complete!

6. In the key comment section, enter a comment that identifies the college, university or organization that will be using this key and the date that the key is generated. For example, for a key that will be used for Terra Dotta University that will is generated on November 4, 2015, the key comment might be “TDU - 4Nov2015”.

7. After the key has been generated, enter a passphrase that will protect access to your public and private keys and press the Return key. This passphrase should conform to secure password generation guidelines (i.e., be over 16 characters, contain uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and special characters, and should not be based on personal information or any words in any language). Do not lose this passphrase. If necessary, record the passphrase and store it in a physically secure location and/or in an encrypted file or secure password management program.

8. Confirm the passphrase in the field below the Key Passphrase field

Be aware that your SFTP client will require a passphrase to initialize a connection successfully!

9. Click on the Save public key button.

10. Navigate to a folder in which you wish to save the public key file, name the file id_rsa.pub and click the Save button.

11. Click on the Save private key button.

12. Navigate to a folder in which you wish to save the private key file, name the file id_rsa.ppk and click the Save button.

Important Note! Do not share your private key with anyone. Anyone who has a copy of your private key can use it to impersonate you on the Internet.

13. You may communicate your public key to Terra Dotta in one of two ways:

    1. Attach the id_rsa.pub as a file to a reply to the email that you received from Terra Dotta that requested the key, or
    2. Open the id_rsa.pub key in a text editing program (e.g., Notepad) and copy and paste its contents into an email reply to the email that you received from Terra Dotta requested the key.
    3. Log into the TDS Support Portal and attach the public key to your integration case.

Important Final Step! Back up both your public and private key in a physically secure location and/or in an encrypted file or secure password management program.