Notes from CopSSH website -

"Copssh is an ssh server and client implementation for windows systems. It is a yet another packaging of portable openssh, cygwin, some popular utilites, plus implementation of some best practices regarding security. You can use copssh for remote administration of your systems or gathering remote information in a secure way."

To setup CopSSH (version 3.1.0) on a Windows PC follow the instructions below -

  1. Run the installer and click on the Next button on the Welcome screen -

  2. Agree to the License Agreement by clicking on the I Agree button -

  3. Install to the default location (C:\Program Files\ICW) by clicking on the Next button -

  4. When prompted to enter a Service Account leave the default values and click on the Install button -

    Notes - Using the default values will create a new user account (SvcCOPSSH). I recommend using/creating this account however it is possible to use an existing account if preferred - ensure it is password protected.
  5. Wait for the Installation to complete -

  6. Click on the Close button once the installation has completed -

  7. Click on the OK button when prompted about activating a user -

  8. To activate a user account goto Start > All Programs > Copssh > 01.Activate a user -

  9. Select a User name account from the pick list and ensure that the Create keys for public key authentication option is not selected, then click on the Next button -

  10. You should see a window similar to the following if the account activated successfully. Click on the OK button -

  11. In order to allow login via an encrypted key file the CopSSH configuration file will need to be edited. To create a backup, open C:\Program Files\ICW\etc\sshd_config in notepad and save as C:\Program Files\ICW\etc\sshd_config.bak.
  12. Search for the text string PasswordAuthentication and edit from #PasswordAuthentication yes to PasswordAuthentication no. Also edit the PermitEmptyPasswords entry (line below PasswordAuthentication) and edit from #PermitEmptyPasswords no to PermitEmptyPasswords no. Now save the changes. The edited section should now read as -
  13. See here for instructions on creating public and private key files using PuTTYgen.exe.
  14. Assuming the instructions were followed in step 13 and PuTTYgen was used to create the keyfiles, copy authorized_keys to the C:\Program Files\ICW\home\User_Account\.ssh\ directory (where User_Account is the name of the account activated when CopSSH was installed).
  15. The opensshserver service will need restarting in order for the changes made to the C:\Program Files\ICW\etc\sshd_config configuration file to take effect. To stop the OpenSSH service, open a command prompt with Administrator privileges and enter the following -
    net stop opensshserver [enter]
    Now restart the service by entering the following command -
    net start opensshserver [enter]