startup PuTTY’s authentication agent “Pageant” with private keys

PuTTY’s authentication agent pageant combines the functionality of ssh-agent and ssh-add, and if you start it up, it makes sense to add the necessary private keys on its command line. You can do this using a script, but in Windows it’s convenient to does this through a “.lnk” shortcut. And if you place that “.lnk” file in Windows’ user startup directory, you won’t forget to start it manually.

Here is a nice description of how to make “… Pageant automatically load keys on startup“:


Recipe (Win <10):

  • within your Windows auto-start-up folder (Start > All Programs > Startup — right-click > Open) …
  • create a Windows “shortcut” to Pageant.exe, it gets called pageant.exe.lnk!
  • edit the shortcut’s properties!
  • tell the command line, where to “Start in:“! %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\putty or %USERPROFILE\etc\putty (that’s where you created resp. left your private keys using PuTTYgen)
  • add the private keys on the command line within “Target:” (YOUR.ppk)– and the paths may be relative to the directory you mentioned in “Start in:

It’s helpful to dump the details of pageant.exe.lnk using one of these nice tools:

PuTTY’s authentication agent “Pageant” has its counterparts in: ssinf h-agent + ssh-add


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