Quick Fix: SSH key permissions on Vista

I like to use SSH to connect to the Linux servers that I manage.  Usually, I’m running Linux on my desktop, but today I needed to SSH into a linux server from Windows Vista.  I downloaded the SSH for Windows installer from SourceForge.  The installation went smoothly enough.  Unsure where the .ssh folder should be, I ran the SSH command to connect to my server and let it create the folder for me.

The folder, for reference is:  C:\Users\[username]\.ssh

I dropped my keys into the folder, and thought I’d be off and running.  Not so much!

SSH gave me a notice that the permissions on my keystore files were “too open”.  I looked at the permissions, and my user was the only one with access.  Funny.  A little bit of quality time with Google found me a quick and easy answer:  Set the compatibility mode on ssh.exe to windows XP.

To do this, navigate to C:\Program Files\OpenSSH\bin\  and then right click on ssh.exe.  Choose properties.  In the compatibility tab, click the box to use compatibility mode, and select Windows XP.  OK out, and you should be done.

SSH behaved normally for me after this fix.