I use SSH a lot in Linux. What I usually do is tunnel into the server, then basically run things from that tunnel (e.g. connecting to MySQL, uploading files, etc). What is the Windows Server version of "SSH". Not really SSH, but something that works exactly like it in Linux.


Remote desktop. It's not exactly like it but does the tasks that you're accustomed to under linux.

There used to be a telnet server in windows but telnet is too insecure these days.

  • Is this as secure as ssh? Does it have fingerprinting of servers, etc? I also seem to remember passwords being sent in the clear, but I assume that is no longer the case. – Nerdfest Feb 7 '10 at 22:15
  • 1
    Remote Desktop fingerprints servers for Windows Vista and later operating systems. Passwords are definitely not sent in the clear. – Benjamin Pollack Feb 7 '10 at 22:35
  • How do you tunnel in RD? (e.g. Use localhost:3222 on local desktop to connect to server. Use that connection with MySQL Query Browser (on my desktop) to talk with the server's dB). Also, can RD use private/public certificates for password-less login. – danmine Feb 8 '10 at 3:09

There are Windows ports of OpenSSH out there which will allow you to run an SSH Daemon on a Windows box, the main one I've used in the past doesn't seem to have been updated in a very long time so I'd rather not link to it, I'm pretty certain it uses a code base that has a number of known holes.

Alternatively SysInternals PSexec allow you to easily get a remote cmd shell on a Windows system provided you have the appropriate accounts. It's not as much of a multipurpose tool as SSH but if you are looking for a remote command line then it will do the trick and it has the advantage of not actually requiring you to install a service on your target beforehand which is a big plus.


Resist the temptation of Remote Desktop. While I'll admit it's instant gratification, it's also years of manual labor for no reason at all.

Instead, become familiar with Group Policy and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).


There's WMIC included in recent versions of Windows but most programming languages have WMI interfaces, including PowerShell.

Based on comments, add this: If by "SSH for Windows" you really mean "commandline interface where you can manage one machine or 10.000 machines almost just as easily", you'll want a commandline (or programming) interface for WMI.

  • 1
    Not sure where you're headed here? Automating things you do a lot is one thing but when you manage a server, do you not have occasional things you need to look at that don't need to be scripted? Wouldn't you use SSH or RDP to do that? – icky3000 Feb 7 '10 at 20:41
  • Alex, I think you may have misread the question. – John Gardeniers Feb 7 '10 at 20:52

There are SSH servers for windows, to name two of them (free):

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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