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Using SSH to Connect to a Virtual Machine


Regardless of whether you want to connect to a VM or a real machine, "Secure Shell" (SSH) is used.

The SSH address of a virtual machine running with default port forwarding is localhost:10022 Here port 10022 of the host is forwarded to port 22 of the virtual machine (guest)).

The address of real machine is IP:22 e.g.

The most important SSH tools are available for Windows and Linux:

  • ssh is secure shell
  • scp is secure copy

Public Key Authentication

Instead of user/password authentication, we recommend public key authentication. Here you have a privat key and a public key (text) file. The public key file is copied to the computer you want to connect to, the private key is secret.

SSH tools are using you private key during a SSH connection instead of user/password.

Creating a key pair and copy it to the remote computer is described here: What is SSH Public Key authentication?

Port Specification for ssh and scp

Port 22 is the default port for a SSH connection. To communicate with a VM running with port forwarding you have to specify the port number e.g.

  • scp -p 10022 ...
  • scp -P 10022 ...
  • ssh-copy-id -p 10022 ...


scp expects it's option P in uppercase!

Git Bash for Windows 10 Hosts

Because ssh-copy-id isn't available under Windows you can install Git for Windows which provides Git Bash.

From a git bash session you can call ssh-copy-id as shown above.