Tunnelling Remote Desktop over SSH (PuTTY Settings)


Assuming that the following settings are used -

To connect using Plink (command-line application)
To connect using PuTTY in GUI mode

To connect using Plink (command-line application)


  1. Open an Administrator command prompt.
  2. Enter a command using the following syntax -
    plink.exe -l username -L localport:servername:rdpport -P 22 -2 -C -i keyfile -ssh IP_Address [enter]
    Where -
  3. Using the settings for our own server -
    plink.exe -l User -L 7071:user-PC1:3389 -P 22 -2 -C -i C:\keyfile.ppk -ssh 192.168.2.2
  4. Follow the prompts on screen to login using the passphrase created earlier (when the private keyfile was created). Note - the password will not be displayed when entered.
  5. Leave the Plink window open and minimize it if required.
  6. Now connect to the server using the Remote Desktop Connection application (see here)

It is possible to automate this task by creating a batch file. Copy the following text into notepad then save with a .cmd file extension -

To connect using PuTTY in GUI mode


  1. To connect using PuTTY (or PuTTY Portable) - Start PuTTY.exe.
  2. Left click on Session category (in left column on PuTTY configuration window) and enter the following parameters -

  3. Left click on Connection > Data category (in left column on PuTTY configuration window) and enter the name of the server account to log into (e.g. User) in the Auto-login-username box -

  4. Left click on SSH category (in left column on PuTTY configuration window) and ensure Enable compression is enabled -

  5. Left click on ssh > tunnels category (in left column on PuTTY configuration window) and enter the following parameters, then click on the Add button -

  6. After clicking on the Add button, entry L7071 user-PC1:3389 will be added to Forwarded ports -

  7. Left click on SSH > Auth category (in left column on PuTTY configuration window) and browse to the keyfile used to authenticate login -

  8. Left click on Session (in left column on PuTTY configuration window) and enter a name in the Saved Sessions box (e.g. ssh), then click on the Save button

  9. After clicking on the Save button a corresponding entry will be added to Saved Sessions. After the session has been saved click on the Open button to connect to the server-

  10. Follow the prompts on screen to login using the passphrase created earlier (when the private keyfile was created). Note - the password will not be displayed when entered.
  11. Leave the PuTTY window open and minimize it if required.
  12. Now connect to the Server using the Remote Desktop Connection application (see here).