Cygwin Wiki

SSH on Cygwin

There are several implementations of OpenSSH on Cygwin:

OpenSSH in cygwin packages[]

This is the recommended way of installing OpenSSH. It's available as a selectable package in the Cygwin installer. If you've already installed Cygwin, simply run the setup.exe again and point it to your cygwin root directory, usually C:\cygwin.


Select OpenSSH under +Net and be sure to select cygrunsrv under +Admin as well in order to run OpenSSH as a Windows service.


Once installed, the server needs to be configured and started. Luckily, this is pretty easy.

  1. Start a cygwin bash shell as an Administrator
  1. Run ssh-host-config, answer yes to all questions, and when prompted to "Enter the value of CYGWIN for the daemon", enter 'ntsec', which enables communication with the NT authentication database.
Cygwin SSHD Install01

SSHD install process using ssh-host-config

Cygwin SSHD Install02

A new user is created

And a new service appears in Windows services:

Cygwin SSHD Install03

New windows service


CopSSH Shortcuts on Windows

CopSSH Start Menu shortcuts

Is a standalone OpenSSH with the cygwin DLLs included. It's useful

if you don't have the full cygwin environment installed.

One advantage of CopSSH is that it has a step-by-step configuration pathway accessible from the start menu:


CopSSH is installed to C:\Program Files\ICW\


Can you use a full Cygwin install with CopSSH?


Appears to be a Cygwin-free version of SSH for Windows



According to a blog post, freeSSHd requires being run as Administrator, not just a user in the admin group. Plus, if you are using non-English Windows, ie French "administrateur" it won't run because it uses a string match.

OpenSSH for Windows[]

Is identical to OpenSSH in the Cygwin packages, but is an easy to install version not requiring the full Cygwin graphical install. So the libraries are not shared with other Cygwin utilities.

From their website:

The OpenSSH for Windows package is a repackaging of the OpenSSH port to the Cygwin environment. While not a native Windows port, this goal of this distribution has been to run the OpenSSH client and server programs with as little of the Cygwin environment as possible.