Converting a PEM Key to a PPK Key (Windows Users Only)
Note: This step is only required for Windows users. If you are using Mac or Linux you can directly use the PEM file you downloaded. Proceed to the next lab step if you are running Mac or Linux.
Connecting to a running Linux instance using an SSH client requires a public/private key pair. Windows does not ship with an SSH client. PuTTY is a common SSH client, which is free to download and use. However, PuTTY does not support the PEM (Privacy Enhanced Mail) key format. The key downloaded from AWS is PEM format, so it must be converted to PPK (PuTTY Private Key). Fortunately, PuTTYgen converts PEM key files to PPK format. PuTTYgen is also free to download and use.
1. If you do not already have PuTTYgen, download the PuTTYgen executable from the following link: PuTTYgen.
Note: Cloud Academy enterprise accounts also provide an enterprise bridge feature that allows you to bypass corporate network and software installation policies that may otherwise prevent you from completing this lab step.
2. Start PuTTYgen. (no installation is required)
3. Click Load and browse to the location of the private key file that you want to convert (for example keypair.pem). By default, PuTTYgen displays only files with a .ppk extension. You'll need to change the drop-down adjacent to File name to All Files in order to see your PEM file:
4. Select your .pem key file and click Open. PuTTYgen displays the following message:
5. Click OK. PuTTYgen displays a dialog with information about the key you loaded, including the public key and the fingerprint.
6. Click Save private key to save the key in PuTTY's format. Do NOT select a passphrase. (Additional security is not required.) Be sure to save your private key somewhere secure.
Now you are ready to use PuTTY for connecting to the running Linux instance created in a previous Lab Step. The PuTTY SSH client will use the key pair format it requires for the private key to connect to the instance. The running Linux instance already has the public key on it.