SSH to GCP Linux instance

The GCP console interface is very useful, but sometimes you may need to directly SSH from your on-premise infrastructure.

This is particularly common after you migrate a Linux server from your own premises to GCP, as the Google Daemon, which provides Google Cloud console access, typically will not be installed.

If you are interested in the Google Daemon, you can check here.

Windows Method using Putty

Step 1 – Install Putty

Go to the PuTTY website ( and download the latest version of the installer.
Once the download is complete, double-click on the installer file to run it.
Follow the on-screen instructions to install PuTTY.

Step 2 – Create an SSH Key

Open the Putty Key Generator from the Putty folder on your start menu.

Click generate and follow the on-screen prompts to wiggle the mouse to create randomness

Keep wiggling the mouse to generate the key

Enter the Username and password you want to use in the Key Comment and Key Passphrase sections. In this example, I am using root, but you can use anything providing there is an associated account on the server.

Step 3 – Copy your SSH key to your Cloud Provider

In this example, I am using the Google Cloud Platform

Next, copy the entire key box and click Save private key

Next, Log into GCP and navigate to Compute Engine. Find the VM you want external SSH access to and click on it to see details.

In the details page click edit

Scroll down to the SSH Keys section, Click Add item, and paste your key value and username

Click save and make a note of the external IP of the server.

Step 4 – SSH to Instance

Go back to putty.

Type the External IP of your server into the client

On the left pane, scroll down to expand connection > SSH > Auth

Click the browse button and locate the key file you saved earlier

Next, click Open to SSH to your GCP Instance. Log in with the credentials you provided earlier.

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Richard Bailey, a seasoned tech enthusiast, combines a passion for innovation with a knack for simplifying complex concepts. With over a decade in the industry, he's pioneered transformative solutions, blending creativity with technical prowess. An avid writer, Richard's articles resonate with readers, offering insightful perspectives that bridge the gap between technology and everyday life. His commitment to excellence and tireless pursuit of knowledge continues to inspire and shape the tech landscape.

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