Install SSH server on Windows 7

By Mathias Westerdahl / 2014-07-18 / In categories notes

Since I don’t want to maintain several Parallels Desktop VM’s on each of my machines (due to disc space and maintenance), I need to be able to ssh into them, but also use the same shared folder where I have my code.

Bitwise SSH Server

When googling for windows ssh servers, the majority of the answers were pretty old, but I didn’t really mind that as long as they worked ok. I tried installing OpenSSH via cygwin (which was easy), but that gave me a cygwin prompt which didn’t have all my user’s environment variables and it also behaved erratically (and occasionally hung). I also looked into using the freeSSHD, and that had a nice UI to change settings and add users. But it just never let me log on (Access Denied), despite trying all the tricks google gave me.

In the end I limited my searches for the latest year, and at the top it suggested the Bitwise SSH Server. It’s free for personal & non commercial use and it was really easy to setup. Run the installer, and then add a user in the UI settings. Et voila! Everything worked out of the box!

Shared Network Folders

The setup I have is that I have my code on my MBP, the Windows VM on an iMac. So I want to login in to the VM, and there I want to compile my code using MSVS.

Parallels Desktop is good at sharing Mac & Samba folders with the VM, but my problem is still with the ssh login: It cannot access the mapped drives!

If I run $\> net use the drives are there, but I can’t cd into them! They’re listed as “Network: Parallels Desktop Folders” and their “status” fields are empty.

However, when I run $\> net use L: \\\\\shared /user:MACBOOKPRO-AB12\\mawe the drive mounts nicely (after password confirmation). And fortunately, the Bitwise ssh server remembers mapped shares by default (if they’re mapped as Microsoft Windows Network) so the next time you log in, the drive is still there.


I’ve heard about the SSH server issues on Windows before, but with such a great tool, I definitely think those days are gone. I am now a happy multi platform coder again!

Mathias Westerdahl


Mathias Westerdahl

A game developer since 2001. Currently at