Setting Up OpenSSH (sshd) on Windows XP

Originally published: 12/2005 by J Wynia

I've had OpenSSH running for 2+ years on my main Windows server at home. I use it to tunnel things like SMTP traffic onto my home network. That was all fine and good until I decided to swap out my mail server setup. I currently use Mercury as my SMTP and IMAP server. As an aside, if anyone, anywhere still thinks "Mercury" as part of the name of any messaging software is original, you need to be smacked. Seriously. We all took Greek and Roman mythology too. Anyway, as an IMAP server, Mercury does a decent job, but doesn't cooperate with IMAP keywords/labels, which is how I manage my mail on other servers.

SSH, The Secure Shell: The Definitive Guide

So, I grabbed instructions for setting up exim and UW-IMAP on cygwin. Once I launched the cygwin installer, I figured I'd just grab most everything except what I was already running and be done with it. A couple of hours later, it was done installing and I went to connect.

Now, it should be noted that I did not choose to install/uninstall/reinstall or otherwise modify the OpenSSH portion. However, the new setup managed to break ssh access completely. It was failing to find /bin/switch, which indicated a path problem. OK, I guess it's time to uninstall the OpenSSH setup I had and get a fresh one from cygwin.

Enter what turned out to be some of the nicest instructions I've seen in a long time. They aren't flashy, are in plain English and just covered the necessary settings and configuration. They actually covered everything that I needed to do, it all worked and 5 minutes later, I was able to ssh back into the server.

So, if you've wanted to, for instance, block off most ports at your firewall, but still get access to your home machine from the road or office, give this a shot.


Beth on 12/15/2005
unrelated comment: i like the new look, it's really clean. i think it's easier to read than the last theme too.
J Wynia on 12/15/2005
Thanks. I respect your taste. The previous theme always bugged me in a cluttered sort of way. Unfortunately, I got attached to an idea with that one and pushed it despite the problems. This one was a little more well thought out. I still want to do some tweaking on the sidebar, but I wanted a much sleeker design this time around for better usability. This is actually a blend of the and my business card design.
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