Configuring Docker SSH on Bitvise on Windows

Docker on Windows has a lot to be desired. One thing I found uncomfortable to use is the Docker Shell on Windows. As of version 1.11.2, Docker uses MINGW64 extension to provide the UNIX Shell on Windows and even then it operates on the host, i.e. the Windows machine. If you know the current architecture, Docker runs on a Linux VM on top of Windows host. Therefore, what gets typed on Docker console is eventually passed to the VM. Through wonderful Docker documentation I figured I could actually SSH directly into the VM itself, and it’s very easy.

Docker Console on Windows
Docker Console on Windows

For my SSH I use Bitvise SSH client but these steps should apply to any other client such as Putty. Docker provides SSH private key which could be used by any client.

Open Bitvise Client Key Manager, and click on “Import”. Then Navigate to “c:\users\userid\.docker\machine\machines\default” and select “id_rsa” file. Import the file and note down the Location. It should be “Global n” where n=1,2,3 etc.


Next open Bitvise SSH Client. Configure a profile with following details:


Hit login and hopefully you will be logged in!



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