First Useful PowerShell Script: PuTTY to SSH Config

First Useful PowerShell Script: PuTTY to SSH Config

I have done a little bit of PowerShell work in the past but mostly just training exercises and modifying existing stuff. With the release of Bash for Windows and the recent announcement that Microsoft will be bringing OpenSSH to Windows I figured this would be a good time to dive in and force myself to write a script in PowerShell to convert my PuTTY profiles to an SSH config.

Working on this (what most would consider) simple script forced me to work with loops, string manipulation, registry parsing, the help functionality within the script, and command-line option parsing. This is exactly why tackling a project and forcing yourself to stick with it helps to teach so much.

Command line options allow you to write to a specified file (defaults to the Bash for Windows config location), append a current file, and set a file prefix (location). Currently the script parses that following parameters into an SSH Config file for use with OpenSSH/Bash for Windows/Linux systems:

  • Host
  • Hostname
  • Port
  • Identity/Key File
  • Dynamic, Forward, and Reverse Tunnels
  • Agent Forwarding

On top of that, I have always wanted to make something that would be useful to others and this is the first time I feel that I am able to do that. I hope this is useful to folks who need to convert their PuTTY configs to SSH and am happy to take any feedback.


# PuTTY to SSH Config -- BASH For Windows
# Author: Trevor Steen

# Reference:
# Yes/No Menu:
# Help Menu:

# Commandline option to write directly to local config

Parse PuTTY profiles into an SSH Config compatible format

This script parses the registry keys set by PuTTY to save profile configurations.  The applicable parameters are output to either STDOUT or a file that can be copied
into an SSH config.  

-SpaceChar -- Replace spaces in config names with this character (Default: -_
-Append -- Set to append to "OutFile", if not set OutFile is overwritten if it exists
-Prefix -- For keyfile locations; Replace C: with this string (Default: /mnt/c for use with Bash For Windows)

.\PuTTY_to_SSH_config.ps1 -outfile test-in-console.txt -prefix /mnt/c/keyfiles




    # Specify output file, otherwise STDOUT

    # Specify character to replace spaces with, otherwise '-'
        [string]$SpaceChar = '-',

    # Specify if existing file should be overwritten or appended
       [switch]$append = $False,

    # Specify a key prefix
       [string]$prefix = "/mnt/c"

# Menu to prompt user when existing file will be deleted. 
if ($OutFile -And -Not $append -And (Test-Path $OutFile) ) { 
    $title = "Delete File"
    $message = "Use -Append if you want to maintain your existing config. This will delete $OutFile and create a new file.  Is this OK?"

    $yes = New-Object System.Management.Automation.Host.ChoiceDescription "&Yes", `
        "Delete file."

    $no = New-Object System.Management.Automation.Host.ChoiceDescription "&No", `
        "Append file"

    $options = [System.Management.Automation.Host.ChoiceDescription[]]($yes, $no)

    $result = $host.ui.PromptForChoice($title, $message, $options, 0) 

    switch ($result)
            0 {"You selected Yes."}
            1 {"You selected No."}

if ($result -eq 0) { Remove-Item $OutFile }

# Registry path to PuTTY configured profiles
$regPath = 'HKCU:\SOFTWARE\SimonTatham\PuTTY\Sessions'

# Iterate over each PuTTY profile
Get-ChildItem $regPath -Name | ForEach-Object {

    # Check if SSH config
    if (((Get-ItemProperty -Path "$regPath\$_").Protocol) -eq 'ssh') {
        # Write the Host for easy SSH use
        $host_nospace = $_.replace('%20', $SpaceChar)
        $hostLine =  "Host $host_nospace"

        # Parse Hostname for special use cases (Bastion) to create SSH hostname
        $puttyHostname = (Get-ItemProperty -Path "$regPath\$_").HostName
        if ($puttyHostname -like '*@*') {
            $sshHostname = $puttyHostname.split("@")[-1]
        else { $sshHostname = $puttyHostname }
        $hostnameLine = "`tHostName $sshHostname"   

        # Parse Hostname for special cases (Bastion) to create User
        if ($puttyHostname -like '*@*') {
            $sshUser = $puttyHostname.split("@")[0..($puttyHostname.split('@').length - 2)] -join '@'
        else { $sshHostname = $puttyHostname }
        $userLine = "`tUser $sshUser"   

        # Parse for Identity File
        $puttyKeyfile = (Get-ItemProperty -Path "$regPath\$_").PublicKeyFile
        if ($puttyKeyfile) { 
            $sshKeyfile = $puttyKeyfile.replace('\', '/')
            if ($prefix) { $sshKeyfile = $sshKeyfile.replace('C:', $prefix) }
            $identityLine = "`tIdentityFile $sshKeyfile"

        # Parse Configured Tunnels
        $puttyTunnels = (Get-ItemProperty -Path "$regPath\$_").PortForwardings
        if ($puttyTunnels) {
            $puttyTunnels.split() | ForEach-Object {

                # First character denotes tunnel type
                $tunnelType = $_.Substring(0,1)
                # Digits follow tunnel type is local port
                $tunnelPort = $_ -match '\d*\d(?==)' | Foreach {$Matches[0]}
                # Text after '=' is the tunnel destination
                $tunnelDest = $_.split('=')[1]

                if ($tunnelType -eq 'D') {
                    $tunnelLine = "`tDynamicForward $tunnelPort $tunnelDest"

                ElseIf ($tunnelType -eq 'R') {
                    $tunnelLine = "`tRemoteForward $tunnelPort $tunnelDest"

                ElseIf ($tunnelType -eq 'L') {
                    $tunnelLine = "`tLocalForward $tunnelPort $tunnelDest"


        # Parse if Forward Agent is required
        $puttyAgent = (Get-ItemProperty -Path "$regPath\$_").AgentFwd
        if ($puttyAgent -eq 1) { $agentLine = "`tForwardAgent yes" }

        # Parse if non-default port
        $puttyPort = (Get-ItemProperty -Path "$regPath\$_").PortNumber
        if (-Not $puttyPort -eq 22) { $PortLine = "`tPort $puttyPort" }


        # Build output string
        $output = "$hostLine`n$hostnameLine`n$userLine`n$identityLine`n$tunnelLine`n$agentLine`n"

        # Output to file if set, otherwise STDOUT
        if ($outfile) { $output | Out-File $outfile -Append}
        else { Write-Host $output }