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SSH Client for Vista?

From: Rush Manbert <rush_at_manbert.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2008 11:23:50 -0700

This s somewhat tangential, but I'm hoping someone here has already
dealt with this problem and feels like sharing.

My SVN repository is hosted on a Mac running OS X.

Repository clients will be other Macs, PCs running Win XP and PCs
running Vista, both 32 and 64 bit versions. Additionally, a lot of the
PCs will actually be VMware virtual machines or Windows running on Mac
hardware via BootCamp. (Most of us here like Macs, even though we
develop for both platforms.)

The repository access is via svn+ssh, using a special "svn" user account
on the host machine as the gateway. My plan is to setup all the clients
for public/private key access as described in the online book.

I recently got a new Mac and decided that I would use VMware to make a
virtual Vista64 machine from my BootCamp partition. Yesterday I tried to
setup repository access from the virtual machine. The first issue was to
install a command line SSH client. Since I had used the OpenSSH for
Windows package available at Sourceforge
(http://sshwindows.sourceforge.net/) on my Windows XP machine, I decided
to try it on Vista.

It installs successfully and appears to run (It successfully connects
using login password authentication.). However, I encountered a very
strange problem. When I create a DSA key pair, the ssh-keygen program
always appears to put a passphrase on my private key file. I always just
hit Return when it asks for a passphrase, and that has worked as
expected on the WinXP system, but it doesn't seem to work on the Vista
machine. I have also tried specifying a passphrase, but the one that I
specify doesn't seem to be what gets put into the file, because SSH
never recognizes the passphrase that I enter.

I tried deleting the .ssh subdirectory, rebooting directly from the
BootCamp partition (so that there was no virtual machine with possibly
squirrelly drivers involved), and creating the key pair there, but got
the same result. The private key file always seems to have some unknown
passphrase on it.

I have not tried this on a "real" PC running Vista 64 because I don't
have access to one.

Here are my questions:
1) Has anyone seen this problem and figured out how to work around it?
2) Is there another SSH command line client that I should use for Vista?
I tried COPSSH, but it gets an error during installation.
3) Is anyone successfully using the OpenSSH for Windows client from
Sourceforge on Vista? On VMware-hosted Vista?
4) Do I need to install Cygwin, then install the matching OpenSSH
package? (I have never used Cygwin, so don't know what I'm getting
myself into if I go that route. I would avoid it if I could, just
because it's another big package to install on each Windows development
machine. But if I must...)

Of course, other suggestions are welcome.

- Rush

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Received on 2008-03-21 19:24:09 CET

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