Setup EC2 and FileZilla with PPK file on Mac OS X

Coming from a Windows platform where I have tools like Putty to connect via SSH to our EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute) instance on Amazon web services(AWS) and a tool like Pageant where I can load a .ppk key to allow me to connect my Filezilla client to connect via SFTP.

I had  to do the same on Mac OS X which eventually took me a bit of time to figure out. So I’m writing this short tutorial to document how I got it configured, so I can refer to it in the future and also help out those having a hard time setting it up. This tutorial is basically for those users who connect to Ec2 from a Windows platform and then moved to a Mac OS X platform.

1. On Windows using a telnet application like Putty to connect via SSH, you require a .ppk key. So first thing is to locate your PPK key in Windows.

2. Next you need to convert the PPK key to an OpenSSH format. Using PuttyGen load the .ppk file and then save the .ssh file generated. (eg. files aws_rsa.ppk and aws_rsa.ssh)

3. Copy the .ssh file and the original .ppk file over to your Mac directory like the Documents folder

4. Next open up Terminal on your Mac and create a new directory

# mkdir ~/.ec2

5. Copy the .ssh file to the ~/.ec2 directory

#mv /Users/myUser/Documents/aws_rsa.ssh ~/.ec2/aws_rsa.ssh

6. Change the file permission

# sudo chmod 600 aws_rsa.ssh

7. Finally connect to your instance.

# ssh -i aws_rsa.ssh root@ec2-xxx-xx-xxx-xxx.compute-1.amazonaws.com

Replace ec2-xxx-xx-xxx-xxx.compute-1.amazonaws.com with your EC2 public address.

Hopefully you should be able to connect to your server instance then.

Next is straightforward, this is for using a GUI like FileZilla to connect to your instance.

1. Open up FileZilla then go to Preferences

2. Go under SFTP and click on Add Key

3. Browse over to your Documents folder where you saved your .ppk file

4. Create a new site and add the public address for the host and protocol as SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol), user as root and password leave as blank.

That should be it you should be it. You could now SSH using the Terminal or connect via SFTP using FileZilla. Happy cloud computing.

2 thoughts on “Setup EC2 and FileZilla with PPK file on Mac OS X

  1. Mark Nett says:

    Thanks! This was my first day of working with EC2 Instance, your post provided me ample information in moving forward.Thanks for the tutorial

  2. Roberto Ferreira de Lima Junior says:

    Thanks!, great tutorial.

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