As mentioned in ♯ Yubico for Windows, I used PuTTY/Plink instead of the OpenSSH client together with YubiKey because the OpenSSH Client does not support the socket file created by GnuPG.

Plink does not work well in Windows Terminal. The Visual Studio Code SSH Remote does not support Plink as well, because it will pass some command line arguments that are not supported by Plink.

So I decide to switch back to the OpenSSH client. Fortunately, the utility wsl-ssh-pageant can create a tunnel between a Windows pipe and the pageant socket, and the OpenSSH client can use the Windows pipe as SSH_AUTH_SOCK. This article is a tutorial to set up wsl-ssh-pageant.

Enable PuTTY Support

First edit gpg-agent.conf in folder $(scoop prefix gpg)\home\, enable PuTTY support


Restart gpg agent to reload the config file.

gpg-connect-agent killagent /bye

Install OpenSSH Client

This section is copied from Installation of OpenSSH For Windows Server | Microsoft Docs

To install OpenSSH, start Settings then go to Apps > Apps and Features > Manage Optional Features. Or install it using PowerShell:

Get-WindowsCapability -Online | ? Name -like 'OpenSSH*'

# This should return the following output:

Name  : OpenSSH.Client~~~~
State : NotPresent
Name  : OpenSSH.Server~~~~
State : NotPresent

Then, install the client feature:

# Install the OpenSSH Client
Add-WindowsCapability -Online -Name OpenSSH.Client~~~~

# It should return the following output:

Path          :
Online        : True
RestartNeeded : False

Set Up wsl-ssh-pageant

Install wsl-ssh-pageant by downloading the binary from the GitHub release or using scoop

scoop install wsl-ssh-pageant

Create a cmd file winssh-agent.cmd

wsl-ssh-pageant.exe --systray --winssh ssh-pageant

Double-clicking this file will start the tunnel.

Add the environment variable to tell OpenSSH client to use the pipe created by wsl-ssh-pageant.

[Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable('SSH_AUTH_SOCK', '\\.\pipe\ssh-pageant', 'User')

The environment variable is only effective in new windows, so start a new terminal window to try that the tunnel works.

First, start the gpg agent and check that the card reader works:

gpg --card-status

Now try to authenticate SSH, for example, to GitHub


Auto Start wsl-ssh-pageant

Create a shortcut in Windows Start Menu to auto-start wsl-ssh-pageant on login and allow launch it by searching in the start menu by pressing the Windows key.

# Change the path to the cmd file.
$SSHAgentLocation = "X:\Path\to\winssh-agent.cmd"
$SSHAgentShortcut = "$env:APPDATA\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\SSH Agent.lnk"

$WScriptShell = New-Object -ComObject WScript.Shell
$Shortcut = $WScriptShell.CreateShortcut($SSHAgentShortcut)
$Shortcut.TargetPath = $SSHAgentLocation
$Shortcut.WindowStyle = 7
mkdir -Fo "$env:APPDATA\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\SSH Agent"
cp -Fo "$env:APPDATA\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\SSH Agent.lnk" "$env:APPDATA\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\SSH Agent\SSH Agent.lnk"