Smartcard Authentication - Secure & Easy

Secure Shell with Smart Card Authentication

PuTTY, the free SSH implementation from Simon Tatham, does support public key authentication but lacks support for smart cards. An enhancement request for PuTTY asking for smart card support within the original PuTTY package has been on the PuTTY wishlist for a very long time.

PuTTY.exe may read a private key from a file or may talk to an SSH authentication agent, which will do all cryptographic operation on behalf of the actual putty.exe. The PuTTY-Package contains such an agent, i.e. pageant.exe, but this agent can also read private keys from password protected files only.

In the download area of this website you will find a replacement for pagent.exe that does support smart cards.

This smart card enabled pageant.exe has the following additional features:

If your smart card does not work then the reason is most likely that you are the first one to try this particular card. Just let me know at and I will do my best to support your card as well.

There's a Smartcard Client Programm in the download area that allows me to open your smartcard via an internet connection. That's the most comfortable way to debug problems and add support for a new card. Of course you should change your card PINs to 123456 and should know what you are doing. If you dont trust me, dont let me do whatever I want with your smartcard.


Installation is easy:

Registering your Public Key

Noncommercial use of pageant.exe and use for evaluation purposes is free and you must register your Public Key only if you want to use it commercially.

In order to support free projects users of OpenPGP cards or the OpenPGP CryptoStick may use pageant.exe for free no matter whether usage is commercial or not.

If you need a free licence - either because your usage is noncommercial or you are using an OpenPGP card/stick - just contact me by mail and I will sent you a licence key. If you cannot wait, you may order a licence for EUR 1 and a licence restricted to OpenPGP cards/sticks will be mailed to you immediately.

There is a order-page available, where you can register your key for commercial usage. After having payed your licence fee with PayPal you will be immediately mailed a license file.

If you want to register a couple of keys you may buy a prepaid-code which will allow you to do so without using PayPal for every single licence. Or you may contact me and I will prepare a site-licence.