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Putty is a Telnet/RSH/SSH client with a simple interface. Sometimes, too simple. No tabbed interface for multiple sessions. The main advantage  is the ability use public/private key authentication. But doing without reading manual often backfires ;-)

If you see the message Server refused our public key, it means that PuTTY has sent a public key to the server and offered to authenticate with it, and the server has refused to accept authentication.

The problem here is that you probably exported putty generated key to the  server you are trying to connect. that's an error: putty generate keys in a slightly different format. The correct way is cut and paste the key directly from the puttygen window.

alternatively and you can generate them on the server and then convert private key into putty-compatible format.

The other thing you should do is check your server configuration carefully. Also, read the PuTTY Event Log; the server may have sent diagnostic messages explaining exactly what problem it had with your setup.

  1. Create public and private key on Unix/Linux  - just as you have, for example
    ssh-keygen -t rsa 
  2. Add the public key to $HOME/.ssh/authorized_keys on the Unix/Linux  box. Server to which you are connecting is  interested only in $HOME/.ssh/authorized_keys.
    cd .ssh
    cp authorized_keys
    chmod 600 authorized_keys
  3. Ensure the keys and authorized_keys are -rw-------
  4. Transfer the private key to Windows
  5. Use puttygen to create a putty type key identity.ppk  -- import it in puttygen  and save to the folder
  6. Launch putty using
    putty -l your_user_name -i private_key_generated_by_putty <server>

See also How To Fix “Server Refused Our Key” Error That Caused By Putty Generated RSA Public Key

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[Dec 05, 2018] How can I scroll up to see the past output in PuTTY?

Dec 05, 2018 |

Ask Question up vote 3 down vote favorite 1

user1721949 ,Dec 12, 2012 at 8:32

I have a script which, when I run it from PuTTY, it scrolls the screen. Now, I want to go back to see the errors, but when I scroll up, I can see the past commands, but not the output of the command.

How can I see the past output?

Rico ,Dec 13, 2012 at 8:24

Shift+Pgup/PgDn should work for scrolling without using the scrollbar.

> ,Jul 12, 2017 at 21:45

If shift pageup/pagedown fails, try this command: "reset", which seems to correct the display. – user530079 Jul 12 '17 at 21:45

RedGrittyBrick ,Dec 12, 2012 at 9:31

If you don't pipe the output of your commands into something like less , you will be able to use Putty's scroll-bars to view earlier output.

Putty has settings for how many lines of past output it retains in it's buffer.

before scrolling

after scrolling back (upwards)

If you use something like less the output doesn't get into Putty's scroll buffer

after using less

David Dai ,Dec 14, 2012 at 3:31

why is putty different with the native linux console at this point? – David Dai Dec 14 '12 at 3:31

konradstrack ,Dec 12, 2012 at 9:52

I would recommend using screen if you want to have good control over the scroll buffer on a remote shell.

You can change the scroll buffer size to suit your needs by setting:

defscrollback 4000

in ~/.screenrc , which will specify the number of lines you want to be buffered (4000 in this case).

Then you should run your script in a screen session, e.g. by executing screen ./ or first executing screen and then ./ inside the session.

It's also possible to enable logging of the console output to a file. You can find more info on the screen's man page .


From your descript, it sounds like the "problem" is that you are using screen, tmux, or another window manager dependent on them (byobu). Normally you should be able to scroll back in putty with no issue. Exceptions include if you are in an application like less or nano that creates it's own "window" on the terminal.

With screen and tmux you can generally scroll back with SHIFT + PGUP (same as you could from the physical terminal of the remote machine). They also both have a "copy" mode that frees the cursor from the prompt and lets you use arrow keys to move it around (for selecting text to copy with just the keyboard). It also lets you scroll up and down with the PGUP and PGDN keys. Copy mode under byobu using screen or tmux backends is accessed by pressing F7 (careful, F6 disconnects the session). To do so directly under screen you press CTRL + a then ESC or [ . You can use ESC to exit copy mode. Under tmux you press CTRL + b then [ to enter copy mode and ] to exit.

The simplest solution, of course, is not to use either. I've found both to be quite a bit more trouble than they are worth. If you would like to use multiple different terminals on a remote machine simply connect with multiple instances of putty and manage your windows using, er... Windows. Now forgive me but I must flee before I am burned at the stake for my heresy.

EDIT: almost forgot, some keys may not be received correctly by the remote terminal if putty has not been configured correctly. In your putty config check Terminal -> Keyboard . You probably want the function keys and keypad set to be either Linux or Xterm R6 . If you are seeing strange characters on the terminal when attempting the above this is most likely the problem.

[Jul 2, 2009] How To Configure SSH Keys Authentication With PuTTY And Linux Server In 5 Quick Steps HowtoForge - Linux Howtos and Tutorials

Configure your Linux server (create user, save public key)

For this guide let's assume you regular login name is autotimesheet (replace it with one that you use regularly).

As root, on the shell, type:

adduser autotimesheet --disabled-password

You will be asked to fill in some details such as the user's real name (empty string is fine).

Now type:

su autotimesheet
cd /home/autotimesheet
mkdir .ssh
chmod 700 .ssh
cd .ssh

Then in that folder, create and edit a file called authorized_keys2.

In there, cut/paste your public ssh key, on ONE LINE (That is very important!!!)

Do not add the [email protected] at the end of the line.
Do not add the rsa-key-20090614 at the end.
Make sure, there is ssh-rsa at the beginning.

It should be something like:

ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAABJQAAAIBzPeFQv+295iKzuuPH0jA9449pSHVpCwXvCR9EstmYh...


chmod 600 authorized_keys2

How to set up SSH keys Frustration with Server refused our key

Submitted by andre on Fri, 2006-06-30 01:34.Geeky

So you're trying to set up ssh keys on your windows box with putty and you keep getting "Server refused our key". Read on, I've got your solution... but first lets take a look at what you've done so far.

Chances are you have done some/none/all of the following:

"Server refused our key"

Well - from what I have read that's supposed to work... but it didn't work for you did it?

Your problem has nothing to do with how well you followed these well documented procedures for getting ssh keys to work.
The solution to the problem is...
(brace yourself, its really simple) to try generating the keys on the server (unix, linix, bsd etc.) instead of the client (i.e. in windows).

Try the following:

Now all you have to do is figure out a way to not have to always enter that passphrase. Well that will require setting up puttyagent. But, I'll let you figure that out for yourself.

I really hope this helped you out. I wasted too much of my life figuring this out this evening and I hope I saved you hours of aggravation.

Have comments? Want to say thanks? Leave a comment. Or if you feel really generous send me a buck or three ;-)

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