sshd on windows

Posted on: Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:02 By: dae

The new project I am implementing is a content distribution system. The problem is that clients are deployed all over the country and the bandwidth is not a luxury we have, so remote desktop might not be possible. Moreover, maintenance of the project requires only editing of some text file, checking the log, etc. FTP would be enough but again, the network is inside a VPN that my very own machine cannot access directly. I must login to the main server first before I can access VPN. So the naive choice is sshd. I remembered that there was a microsoft implementation of telnet for windows but I would not depend my life on it. Cygwin is lots more viable for a peace of mind.

After installing the cygwin and installing the sshd package, I noticed that sshd is not actually running. A little bit googling tells me that to get the cygwin's sshd up and running as a windows service, I have to do as following:

(excerpt from the completed text at, Thanks Nicholas Fong).

  • Add environment variable CYGWIN=ntsec and add path to cygwin binaries to the PATH variable
  • runs ssh-host-config on the cygwin windows to initialize sshd. Answer "yes" "yes" and "yes" on "privileges separation", "create local user sshd" and "install sshd as a service" question, when asked. The script will ask for "CYGWIN=", we must answer "ntsec".
  • Start the sshd service by net start ssh
  • security important Check that all user has a password protected in Control Panel --> User Account
  • create a password and group file from windows data by
mkpasswd --local > /etc/passwd mkgroup --local > /etc/group

Aha, done... sshd is up and running on my XP.