TortoiseSVN SSH and Certificates

Right, so, there is an excellent post here: that describes how to get Tortoise Subversion to authenticate with a certificate.

The problem I have with many how-to articles is that there is not enough room among all the steps to explain why the magic works. I’ve written how-to articles as well, and I know that this is an easy trap; it is, after all, time consuming to enumerate all those steps. However, especially with software systems, where there is often magic involved, it’s important to explain the trick so someone can trouble-shoot the inevitable problems.

In this case, on the client side, there is some magic around how Tortoise figures out where your certificate is. It turns out that Tortoise is looking for a registry entry /SimonTatham/PuTTY/Sessions/sessionname/PublicKeyFile, where sessionname is the host name in the repository url. Putty creates one of these entries for each session that you save, which for me, is for each server that I try to connect to, and so the distinction is a little bit subtle. Tortoise, is trying to find a repository at svn+ssh://username@sessionname/repository.

So now, if you are having trouble with TortoiseSVN asking for a password over and over again, make sure you’re using the name of the PuTTY session, and not, say, the name of the server.


6 Responses to “TortoiseSVN SSH and Certificates”

  1. Mo Says:

    very helpful posting!

  2. WHS + SSH + SVN + Certs + TortoiseSVN = Finally working! : Tiernans Comms Closet Says:

    […] searching helped me find this post by Rene Gourley (hope I pronounced that correctly…) explaining HOW TortoiseSVN uses Putty to get certs and connection info… This was the eye opener! I was putting the server name into my url (in my case […]

  3. danielsmth15 Says:

    God! I wish that my exams will be over soon so that I cannot again continue my blogging, missing it very dearly. Pray for my vmware training

  4. Mohan Says:

    Thank you

    Ahmet K?r?at ?anak

    Please insert a URL or HTML Link

  5. Westveer Says:

    Just surffing online and I cam across your site. Thanks for your good time

  6. Krabbe Says:

    Thanks for the post.. I have been doing some research.. this is very usefull 🙂

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