Making Cygwin SSH server for Windows

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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
    ssh-host-config
    
    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

Notes

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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