Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I received a putty key file (.pkk) from a client today to access the EC2 instance. Since I don't use windows, is there any way to use the key on the command line ssh interface in Mac OS X 10.5?

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You need to download PuTTY Key Generator, open up the .ppk in it, and export to OpenSSH private key format in ~/.ssh/id_rsa or ~/.ssh/id_dsa depending on format.

share|improve this answer
This is definitely the answer to the question, but ErikA's advice invaluable. Up voting both. – Shoan Oct 8 '09 at 7:24

Xorlev's answer will certainly work. Accepting your client's private key, though, violates everything that PKI is about. You should be sending your public key to the client, who will then place that on the EC2 instance, granting you access. Private keys are meant to be kept, well, private.

share|improve this answer
Agreed. It certainly does violate the entire point of a private key. – Xorlev Oct 8 '09 at 5:05

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.