Installing Bitvise SSH Server

To install Bitvise SSH Server, execute the installer that you downloaded from our website and follow the process. As soon as the installer completes, you will have a working SSH server installation on your machine. Only minimal changes to settings are necessary: for example, configure a Windows account or virtual account that can connect. See also Configuring groups and accounts - this will help you restrict your users' access to those features that they actually need, which will improve security.

Unattended installation

It is also possible to install Bitvise SSH Server in unattended mode, using command-line parameters to the installer. If you wish to make use of this feature, execute the following for a list of supported command-line parameters:

BvSshServer-Inst.exe -?

To see help output, run the SSH Server installer from an elevated, administrative Command Prompt or PowerShell window. If you run it from a non-elevated window and click through the UAC prompt, Windows will cause the installer to display its output in a separate console window, which will immediately close.

For example, if you wished to install Bitvise SSH Server on a fresh machine and start it immediately afterwards, you might execute the following:

BvSshServer-Inst.exe -defaultInstance -activationCode=0123...6789 net start BvSshServer

To apply a ready-made configuration file as part of the installation process, add the '-settings=...' parameter and specify the file from which Bitvise SSH Server should load its configuration. This file can be created by exporting the settings of an existing installation from its Bitvise SSH Server Control Panel.

If you are installing a single Bitvise SSH Server installation, you should of course simply execute the installer (without parameters) and follow the instructions provided by the user interface.

Unattended configuration

After installing the SSH Server, further automated setup can be performed using:

  • BssCfg, the SSH Server's command line configuration utility.

  • PowerShell scripting using the SSH Server's scriptable configuration COM object.

After installation, BssCfg can be found in the SSH Server's installation directory. It needs to be started in an elevated Command Prompt or PowerShell window that runs with administrative permissions.

BssCfg can configure most aspects of an SSH Server installation. For example, the following configures a global default registry setting to avoid the SSH Server Control Panel showing popup messages to administrators who are logged in interactively:

BssCfg popups show -never -default

Run BssCfg without parameters for help.

Unattended configuration of instance settings and updates

When installing many SSH Server instances, you may want to automatically configure:

  • The SSH Server's instance type - for example, to configure many instances to run as followers.

  • Automatic updates - for example, to configure maintenance windows or disable automatic updates.

Both types of settings are stored as part of the SSH Server's instance settings. These are kept separate from the SSH Server's main settings because they pertain to the SSH Server installation itself.

You can apply instance settings as part of initial installation. To do so, export instance settings from an existing installation, using the same dialog where you configure instance type or update settings. The binary instance settings can be automatically applied when you install the SSH Server using the installer's command line parameters, for example:

BvSshServer-Inst ... -instanceTypeSettings=c:\path\file.wit

If the installations are already in place, you can apply instance settings from the command line using the BssCfg configuration utility in the SSH Server installation directory:

BssCfg instanceType importBin c:\path\file.wit

Run BssCfg without parameters for help with other commands it supports. For example, it also supports importing and exporting instance settings in a textual format, but the textual format does not guarantee compatibility between SSH Server versions. The binary format can be read by same or newer versions.

You can also script instance settings using PowerShell. Example:

$cfg = new-object -com "BssCfg815.BssCfg815" $cfg.SetInstance("") $cfg.instanceSettings.Lock() $loadResult = $cfg.instanceSettings.Load() $cfg.instanceSettings.update.updateType = $cfg.enums.AutomaticUpdatesType.doNotCheckForUpdates $cfg.instanceSettings.Save() $cfg.instanceSettings.Unlock()

In all cases, these actions must be done from an elevated, administrative Command Prompt or PowerShell window. See also scriptable configuration.

Unattended uninstallation

To uninstall from the command line:

  1. Copy the uninst.exe program in the Bitvise SSH Server or Client installation directory to another temporary location.

  2. Execute uninst.exe in the temporary folder as follows:

    uninst.exe "Bitvise SSH Server" -unat

    This will uninstall the default (unnamed) SSH Server instance. If you installed a named instance, use its full instance name. For example:

    uninst.exe "Bitvise SSH Server - Instance" -unat

    To uninstall Bitvise SSH Client from the command line, use:

    uninst.exe "BvSshClient" -unat

It is possible to run uninst also directly from the SSH Server installation directory. However if you do that, uninst will first copy itself to a temporary location, then run itself and exit. The original instance of uninst will exit before the uninstallation completes. This may cause problems if your script performs other tasks which should wait for the uninstallation to complete.