OpenSSH for Windows overview

Applies to Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019, Windows 10 (build 1809 and later)

OpenSSH is the open-source version of the Secure Shell (SSH) tools used by administrators of Linux and other non-Windows for cross-platform management of remote systems. OpenSSH has been added to Windows (as of autumn 2018), and is included in Windows Server and Windows client.

SSH is based on a client-server architecture where the system the user is working on is the client and the remote system being managed is the server. OpenSSH includes a range of components and tools designed to provide a secure and straightforward approach to remote system administration.

OpenSSH for Windows has the below commands built in.

  • ssh is the SSH client component that runs on the user's local system
  • sshd is the SSH server component that must be running on the system being managed remotely
  • ssh-keygen generates, manages and converts authentication keys for SSH
  • ssh-agent stores private keys used for public key authentication
  • ssh-add adds private keys to the list allowed by the server
  • ssh-keyscan aids in collecting the public SSH host keys from hosts
  • sftp is the service that provides the Secure File Transfer Protocol, and runs over SSH
  • scp is a file copy utility that runs on SSH


The documentation focuses on how OpenSSH is used on Windows, including installation, and Windows-specific configuration, commands, and use cases. Additional detailed documentation for common OpenSSH features is available online at

Feedback on Windows OpenSSH is welcomed and can be provided by creating GitHub issues in our OpenSSH GitHub repo. The OpenSSH open source project is managed by developers at the OpenBSD Project. The Microsoft fork of this project is in GitHub.

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