Connecting to Flywheel’s SSH Gateway on Windows using PuTTY

Updated on October 14th, 2021

Although modern versions of Windows (such as Windows 10) support OpenSSH, not all of them do. Don’t worry, if you’re running an older version of Windows you can still connect to Flywheel’s SSH Gateway using PuTTY!

PuTTY is a free SSH access client, and PuTTYgen is its corresponding SSH key generation tool. This article will help you get started by generating SSH keys in PuTTYgen and configuring your SSH session in PuTTY. Let’s go!

Table of Contents:

1. Install and launch PuTTY
2. Generate SSH key pair in PuTTYgen
3. Add the public key to Flywheel
4. Configure and save the PuTTY session
5. Connect to Flywheel’s SSH Gateway

Install and launch PuTTY

If you haven’t yet, you’ll want to install PuTTY and PuTTYgen.

  1. Start by going to and grab yourself a copy of PuTTY. The installation package includes both the PuTTY client as well as the PuTTYgen key generator.
  2. Run the installer.
  3. Via the Start Menu, open both PuTTY and PuTTYgen.

Generate SSH key pair in PuTTYgen

To connect to Flywheel’s SSH Gateway, you’ll need to install a public key on Flywheel and configure a private key in PuTTY. You can generate the keys you need in PuTTYgen.

  1. Make sure the key type is RSA and the number of bits is 2048.
  2. Click Generate. Moving your mouse randomly in the blank area will generate a private key and a public key pair.
  3. Create a Key passphrase for the key pair. Take note of this password as you’ll use it to connect to the SSH portal itself.
  4. Click Save private key to save the key to your computer. Keep this handy as you’ll need it later.
  5. Copy the public key to your clipboard for pasting into Flywheel. (Don’t use the Save public key button and copy the key from that file, it won’t work.)

Add the public key to Flywheel

Next, you’ll take the public key you copied to your clipboard and add it to your Flywheel account.

  1. On the Flywheel app, navigate to the SSH tab of your Account.
  2. Click Add SSH Key.
  3. Give your public key a name.
  4. Paste the public key you copied from PuTTYgen into the field. Make sure the key is an exact duplicate with no additional spaces or returns.
  5. Click Add Key.

Configure and save the PuTTY session

Next, you’ll want to configure the gateway. We recommend saving the session for future use, so you don’t have to configure PuTTY again next time.

  1. In the PuTTY sidebar, navigate to Session.
  2. Type in Host Name.
  3. Set Port to 22.
  4. Choose SSH for Connection type.
  5. In the PuTTY sidebar, navigate to Connection > SSH > Auth.
  6. Under Authentication parameters, click Browse and select the private key you generated earlier.
  7. In the PuTTY sidebar, go back to Session. In the Saved Sessions area, click Save and name your session.

Connect to Flywheel’s SSH Gateway

If everything was set up correctly, you will now be able to connect to Flywheel’s SSH Gateway via PuTTY!

  1. In the PuTTY sidebar, navigate to Session. Select your saved session and click Load.
  2. Click Open. This will launch a terminal window.
  3. At the login as: prompt, enter your Flywheel username.
  4. Enter the password for your key pair. Remember, this is not your Flywheel user password, this is the password you created earlier in PuTTYgen.
  5. You will now be connected to the Flywheel SSH gateway and presented with a list of sites!

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