PuTTY wish win-pageant-openssh-interop

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summary: Make it easy for Windows OpenSSH to talk to Windows Pageant
class: wish: This is a request for an enhancement.
difficulty: fun: Just needs tuits, and not many of them.
fixed-in: 8a2883933d4f664681a015341cf8760a0231a41b (0.77)

In version 0.75, Windows Pageant introduced a new transport for clients to talk to the SSH agent. This transport uses the Windows 'named pipe' system.

Modern Windows now provides a version of OpenSSH as an optional Windows component (installable from the Windows settings user interface). That too uses named pipes as a transport for its agent, and the protocol spoken over the pipes is identical to Pageant's. (Not surprisingly, since there's only one sensible choice.)

So it's possible to make Windows's ssh.exe use Pageant as its agent, if you configure OpenSSH to know the pathname of Pageant's named pipe. However, Pageant's pipes are named in a complicated cryptographic way, to make it harder for the wrong user to squat on them (since Windows doesn't provide per-user protected subspaces of the named pipe namespace). So this is tricky to set up.

For 0.77, we've introduced a convenience feature that makes it less tricky. With an extra command-line option --openssh-config, Pageant can now write out a snippet of OpenSSH configuration, which you can refer to from your main .ssh\config file using an Include directive.

(Note, however, that this only applies to the version of OpenSSH provided as a Windows component. Not all things called ssh.exe on Windows are the same as each other. In particular, a completely different port of OpenSSH is provided by the Windows Git installation, which doesn't use named pipes, and won't be able to understand this configuration snippet.)

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Audit trail for this wish.
(last revision of this bug record was at 2022-05-15 14:15:31 +0100)