PuTTY Guide

PuTTY provides secure terminal connections using the SSH protocol. SSH is a secure alternative to Telnet.


Download PuTTY

  1. Click the download link: PuTTY Download
  2. When prompted by your browser, save the file to your computer desktop.


Connect Using PuTTY

  1. Double click on the downloaded putty.exe file.
  2. In the Host Name or IP field type the host name:
    • Personal accounts: online.sfsu.edu
    • Departmental accounts: www.sfsu.edu
    • Putty Host Screen
  3. Click Open.
  4. If prompted, select Yes to accept the Security Alert. (The Fingerprints section below can be used for verification.)
    PuTTY Warning
  5. Type your username (e.g., if your email address is janedoe@sfsu.edu, type janedoe).
  6. Type your password.PuTTY login




PuTTY Resources

Further information on using PuTTY can be found on the following resource sites:


Fingerprints for ITS Supported Hosts

Every SSH/SFTP host has at least one unique "key" used to encrypt your connection, and each key has a unique "fingerprint". The fingerprint can be displayed as a series of hexadecimal numbers separated by colons, or as a series of "words" separated by hyphens.  The first time you connect to a host using SSH or SFTP you will be shown the fingerprint for one of the host's keys and asked whether or not to continue with the connection.  The fingerprints for apollo.sfsu.edu, libra.sfsu.edu, online.sfsu.edu, and www.sfsu.edu are given below. If the fingerprint displayed when you connect is the same as one of the fingerprints below you can safely complete the connection. If they don't match see What does it mean if the Fingerprints Don't Match? Once you complete the connection the host name and key are stored on your computer and, unless the key on the host changes, you should not be shown a fingerprint for that host again.

Fingerprints for ITS supported hosts shown in hexadecimal and text format:


  • online.sfsu.edu - updated 11/25/08
    • 06:4e:57:ee:f5:c8:e7:c7:99:9a:e9:5f:95:88:53:a1
  • www.sfsu.edu - updated 11/25/08
    • 73:c2:09:ec:f5:8a:a2:cf:d8:4e:34:bd:24:1f:b3:66
    • a4:bd:6f:3c:61:5b:15:7b:da:ef:7f:1c:27:2a:8a:b2