Is it possible to open an SSH session in PowerShell? Currently I use PuTTY but it would be nice if that were not required.


11 Answers 11


Not built in of course, but since Powershell can do anything .Net can do, there is a way.

Paid solution would be /n Software's NetCmdlets.

Free solution would be using the suggestions of this blog post.


I wrote a module for dealing with SSH sessions from PowerShell, based on the SSH.NET library found on CodePlex. It has New-SshSession to create connections (multiple targets using different credentials is supported), and then you can use Invoke-SshCommand to run commands against any number of target hosts. There's even an Enter-SshSession which has a very basic, interactive shell.

The article is here.



Download OpenSSH for Windows and choose to install just the client during the installation. The entire installer inlcuding the server is less 3MB and the client works just fine.

  • 2
    There are a lot of warnings on that project about the installer stomping the System PATH variable on Windows 7 & 8 - be wary!
    – Patrick M
    Jan 22, 2014 at 17:02

I am still posting an answer to this question, because i found the accepted answer not suiting my needs at all (Only a paid solution or another that doesn't handle the terminal well).

So the obvious solution to this problem is to install cygwin. Do a minimal install if you just want ssh, but since powershell provides a basic level of compatibility with *nix shells (basic commands are still there, "/" for directories, etc), it's really possible to use cygwin stuff inside Powershell.

Cygwin install here

  • 1
    Cygwin? Bleck! Might as well fire up a VM...
    – Urda
    Oct 14, 2010 at 14:50
  • How so ? ssh is a windows compiled executable. If you wan't to interoperate with unix-y stuff, it shouldn't be a surprise that you have to install some libs for that. Nov 4, 2010 at 10:18
  • See the answer by Ameer Deen, I think that is the best solution here and works great.
    – Hosh Sadiq
    Feb 14, 2012 at 6:46
  • 1
    @HoshSadiq From the OpenSSH for Windows description: "An installer for a minimal installation of the Cygwin environment suitable for running an OpenSSH server on the Windows platform." Feb 18, 2014 at 5:26

There's an alternative (free) PowerShell SSH solution, using a newer library implementation, see vBlog >> SSH Client Using PowerShell


One way to get a very good native ssh client is to install git from GitHub (https://windows.github.com/).

It creates a shortcut to a posh-git window with all the paths set correctly to use git in powershell. That automatically comes with ssh and scp binaries in the path.

I am not sure what implementation it is, but it does have a Linux like feel, i.e. it doesn't feel like it is .Net based or uses powershell commandlets.

It is picking up the private key that I have configured in $home/.ssh/ in openssh format and maybe someone can confirm. It feels like it is openssh.

To make it even better, I have integrated it into my regular powershell profile by doing the following in my $profile. That means that I don't have to use github's shortcut.

. (Resolve-Path "$env:LOCALAPPDATA\GitHub\shell.ps1") . (Resolve-Path "$env:LOCALAPPDATA\GitHub\PoshGit_*\profile.example.ps1")


I know this is very old reply, but for the sake if sharing knowledge I would like to let you know that Microsoft has added a built-in SSH client and it is now enabled by default in Windows 10’s April 2018 Update (check this https://devblogs.microsoft.com/powershell/looking-forward-microsoft-support-for-secure-shell-ssh/ and this https://www.howtogeek.com/336775/how-to-enable-and-use-windows-10s-built-in-ssh-commands/)

so you are now able to create ssh session inside your PowerShell script natively.



If the target machine is a Windows box, then you can use PowerShell Remoting, instead.

It's definitely not the same as SSH. There are pros (bringing objects back over the wire!) and cons (what if the target is Linux?).


I use Git http://git-scm.com/downloads

Includes a host of other tools like SCP and such that are useful too.


Posh-SSH Is a free module from Poswershell Magazine that works for Powershell 3.0 and above.

It is available at http://www.powershellmagazine.com/2014/07/03/posh-ssh-open-source-ssh-powershell-module/

Full documentation is provided at the link above. In a script you don't really want an interactive connections, so it is two steps. 1st create the session. 2nd send commands.

$ServerConnection = New-SSHSession -KeyFile $keyLocation -ComputerName $sshComp -Credential $mycreds -AcceptKey

The first session you create will have an index of 0.

Invoke-SSHCommand -Index 0 -Command "some command to run over ssh"

It is best practice to put the connection creation in a try catch and to validate the session exist before running a command. This makes interacting with Linux servers from inside of a powershell script work well.


SSH and SFTP undoubtly represent industry standard in secure remote access application. Fortunally its possible that establishing a connect can be really quick and easy. Unfortunally the truth is that there are lot of possibilities to waste time with troubleshooting.

Unfortunally Windows has no a standard ssh client or deamon software on board.

This results in a zoo of more or less freaky implementations, open source, freeware, shareware and so on... sometinmes working sometimes not.

Within windows, its a money thing. Microsoft just does not want lot of users connecting to 1 lizensed computer easily. They want to sell their own solutions. So they dont offer native ssl.

cygwin is the best available solution.

putty / plink / winscp as client software. its also ok for scripting.

there are ssh deamons for windows integration, but the solutions are more or less instable.

the most stable way to have ssh deamon on windwos running is to run it inside a Linux VM, can be realized with a small linux distibution.

  • 4
    This doesn't really answer the OPs question. Can you edit your question to indicate why cygwin is a solution to the question posed by the OP? Nov 12, 2014 at 14:11
  • OP is not asking for alternatives other than PowerShell related solutions.
    – cychoi
    Nov 12, 2014 at 15:11

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