Making Cygwin SSH server for Windows


The robust OpenSSH server on Cygwin allows SSHing into a Windows PC for secure port forwarding Windows RDP. Use Public Key Authentication – it’s far stronger than any human usable keyboard password.

Setup Cygwin SSH Server

  1. Cygwin SSH server prereq: from Windows Command Prompt:
    setup-x86_64 -P openssh
  2. Cygwin SSH server setup: start Cygwin64 using “Run as Administrator” and type
    config response
    Privilege separation yes
    strict modes yes
    sshd as service yes
    value of CYGWIN for daemon (just press Enter key, don’t type anything)
    use a different name no (you want to use cyg_server)

Start Cygwin SSH server

The Cygwin SSH server starts itself on reboot of Windows, but if you need to start it manually (e.g. for the first time upon installing)

cygrunsrv -S sshd

Test Cygwin SSH server

  • login to your Windows Cygwin SSH server from another PC.
  • Under services.msc you should see the Status “started” for service “CYGWIN sshd”, and under the General tab the “path to executable” should be something like c:\cygwin64\bin\cygrunsrv.exe

Configure Cygwin SSH server

Cygwin SSH server config is in /etc/sshd_config. To make changes take effect, type

 cygrunsrv -E sshd
 cygrunsrv -S sshd


If you get

system error 1069 has occurred. The service did not start due to a logon failure

check the password on your “privileged server” cyg_server – maybe you typed it wrong.

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