How To Connect Amazon EC2 Instance Using PuTTY Private Key

When you launch EC2 Linux instance, it provides you a key pair for that particular instance. This key pair is standard private key format with .pem file extension. If you are using Windows machine to login to EC2 instance using PuTTY, you will face issue because PuTTY does not support pem format. It understand only ppk format. That’s why first of all you will need to convert .pem file to .ppk file.

In this article I will describe how you can connect your EC2 Linux instance using PuTTY private key.

Convert PEM File To PPK File

To convert PEM file to PPK file you will need to do:

1. Download AWS PEM file.
2. Download PuTTYGen.
3. Load PEM file to PuTTYGen to convert it.
4. Save converted PPK Private Key file.

For above mention steps you can follow my previous article.

Now follow the below steps to connect EC2 Linux instance using PuTTY.

Use PPK File To Access EC2 Linux Instance

Now you have the PPK file for example “looklinux.ppk“. You can use this key to login to your EC2 Linux instance. To do this launch the putty and do the following.

First of all you will need to enter your EC2 instance IP or Public DNS in PuTTY’s Host Name field.

Second, you can save the session for future use, give the session name in “Saved Sessions” and click on “Save” button.


Third, now you will need your .ppk file for example my PPK file name is “looklinux.ppk“, On left-hand side panel expand the Connections –> SSH –> Auth now click on “Browse” and select your .ppk file like below.


Fourth, Please do not click on “Open” button here to start connection because entered values will lost, So go to left-panel and click on “Sessions” and click on “Save“. Doing like this entered values will be saved for future purpose.

Now click on saved session and enter the user name of your EC2 instance, EC2 instance default user name is ec2-user.

I hope this article will help you to connect your EC2 Linux server using PuTTY Private Key. If you have any queries and problem please comment in comment section.


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Santosh Prasad

Hi! I'm Santosh and I'm here to post some cool article for you. If you have any query and suggestion please comment in comment section.

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