My git setup in Windows

This is meant as a reference for me. I like to nuke and pave my workstation so much that I am constantly setting everything back up the way I like it. Git is one of those things where I can never remember all the details.

This article assumes you have already generated your SSH keys and added your private keys Github or another Git repo service



Set up

To start off I install Git. In my case I like to use Chocolatey, but that is just a preference. You can install Git with the standard install.

choco install -y git.install

For the other tools, just download them and drop them wherever you like. I like to use Chocolatey for this also. Chocolatey installs plink.exe and pageant.exe to %PROGRAMFILES%\Putty for 32-bit OS and %PROGRAMFILES(X86)%\Putty for 64-bit OS.

choco install -y putty.install

Environment Variables

Now create a system variable with the name GIT_SSH and set the value to the path for plink.exe. There are many ways to do this, but this is what I like best. It integrates nicely into Windows and I have no need to use the Git Bash shell.

C:\Program Files(x86)\Putty\plink.exe


Pageant will need to be running each time you make a SSH connection. Its job is to hold your private keys.

I set Pageant to run at startup. I do not auto load my keys for security, but this can be done using the following format for the startup item.

%PROGRAMFILES(X86)%\Putty\pageant.exe C:\path\to\key1.ppk c:\path\to\key2.ppk

Now plink is set up to be your SSH client when using git. And will use Pageant to manage your private keys. You can test using the following command


If your private SSH key is set up in Pageant and your public key has been imported into Github you should receive the message

Hi your_username! You've successfully authenticated, but Github does not provide shell access.


From now on plink and pageant should handle all of the SSH goodness with Git.

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