Starting Bitvise SSH Server and monitoring activity

Bitvise SSH Server can be started and stopped in the following ways:

  • using the Bitvise SSH Server Control Panel;
  • from Administrative Tools > Services;
  • from the Windows command prompt using commands 'net start BvSshServer' and 'net stop BvSshServer';
  • the service can also be stopped remotely, using the Bitvise SSH Server Remote Control Panel, in Bitvise SSH Client.


The Bitvise SSH Server Control Panel features a Session tab, which shows SSH sessions currently active on the server.

Since version 5.06, the Bitvise SSH Server Control Panel also features an Activity tab, which shows a history of recent events on the SSH server, such as logins, disconnects, or file transfers. When the SSH Server Control Panel is open or minimized, it can also be configured to show pop-up notifications for events that show up in the Activity tab.

The Session and Activity tabs are intended to provide a casual overview of SSH server activity, but not a thorough overview. For a thorough overview or diagnostics, consult Bitvise SSH Server log files.


When Bitvise SSH Server is running, its default logging behavior in versions 4 and 5 is as follows:

  • Errors and warnings are logged to the Application section of the Windows Event Log. Many applications write their log messages to this log; to reduce clutter, Bitvise SSH Server records no info messages here by default.

    You can investigate the Event log either through Administrative Tools > Event Viewer, or using the Bitvise SSH Server Control Panel, by clicking the 'View Windows Event Log...' button.

    If your Application log becomes full, Windows may stop logging new events until the log is cleared or its size restrictions are loosened. You can investigate the maximum size settings of your Application log by selecting it in the Windows Event Viewer and clicking Action > Properties. The log can be cleared either from the Event Viewer or through the Bitvise SSH Server Control Panel.

  • Errors, warnings and informational messages are logged into managed textual log files, created by default in the Logs subdirectory of the SSH server installation directory. These log files are stamped with the date and time of their creation and can be viewed with any text editing software, e.g. Notepad.

The logging level for each of the two destinations (log files or Windows Event Log) can be changed in Bitvise SSH Server Advanced settings. For security reasons, we recommend that you log errors and warnings at least. You should inspect the log periodically to make sure that everything is running as expected. For storage reasons, we recommend not setting the log level higher than info, except temporarily for troubleshooting.