Using the Putty utility with Sophos

  • Article ID: 115863
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  • Updated: 30 Oct 2014

Sophos allows remote shell access using SSH. Putty is Windows SSH client, that may be used to logon to the shell, and access the Sophos command line environment remotely. 

Putty has many options, and supports protocols other than SSH, but this article only shows the features necessary to connect to Sophos.

Known to apply to the following Sophos product(s) and version(s)

Sophos UTM Software Appliance


Putty is a standalone executable, which does not require installation. The default name for the executable is Putty.exe. It may be run directly in windows, which will load the PuTTY Configuration interface.


Connection Settings

Note: The Sophos UTM uses the UTF-8 encoding. If your Putty is not configured for UTF-8 this can lead to garbled display of non-ASCII characters. To configure UTF-8 encoding you need to navigate to Window | Transaltion.

The Configuration interface requires you to specify a minimum of a hostname or IP address to connect to. This is entered in the "Host Name (or IP address)" field. Port 22 will be assumed, if it is not specified. This connection information can be saved for later use, by entering a name in the Saved Sessions box, then clicking save. To use a previously saved session, double-click the entry in the list. Clicking Open, will attempt to connect to whatever settings are currently displayed.

The first connection to a host will prompt you to confirm the RSA fingerprint for that host.You will need to click yes, to continue. This value will be stored, and you will not be prompted again, unless this value changes. This warning provides assurance that your session is not being intercepted.



By default, no authentication information will be sent. Once the connection is established, the command window will ask for username and password. Sophos supports use of RSA keys for authentication, and putty also supports this.  RSA tokens must generated by a separate utility.

Note: To find out how SSH keys are generated and uploaded please check out the following link:

To use a private key file in Putty:
  1. From the menu tree, choose Connection | SSH | Auth.
  2. Enter the path to the private key file in the "Private key file for authentication" box, or browse to find the file. 
You may optionally set the default username to use when connecting:
  1. In the Putty menu tree, navigate to Connection | Data. 
  2. Enter the username in the Auto-login username field. There is no option to store a password for auto-login.


Putty is available for download from the author's site:


This utility is not created, nor supported by Sophos. It has been tested, and is believed to be safe, and to work as described above. If any problems are discovered in this application's operation, please contact the application's author. This contact information can be found by clicking the About button in the putty.exe application.


If you need more information or guidance, then please contact technical support.

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