Norns (Shield) SSH via Windows!

A friend of mine is trying to access his norns shield via ssh…but can’t figure it out. I searched the forum and notice one person had similar issues but it’s not honestly widespread. Are Windows users that rare? Or is my friend missing something?

I don’t have a pc to help test or I’d take time to figure out the problem

i recommended they check that section of the docs…which unfortunately appears to be incorrect for users w/o mac or linux device

Seems windows 10 has an ssh client but you have to install it. Maybe have them look at this?


I use cyberduck, it’s pretty straightforward on windows. I’ll try to find the post I used as a guide.

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cyberduck guide here! it was removed from the “main docs” a bit ago because SMB is preferred.

@glia, please let us know if your friend is having trouble with the ssh client solution @crim posted above. there’s also an SMB solution for windows:

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any chance official docs could make it a bit clearer that there’s a different path for windows people? true, some of this is a google search away but for non-nerds they see the instructions as gospel

just hope folks don’t assume their norns is defective or something

totally — could you confirm what does end up working for them, @glia? are the SMB instructions not working? also, if they’re able to get in with SSH using those additional steps, then we can definitely add that.

seems to be workin now

will share what worked here in a minute

SSH on windows here works fine.


which windows version?

doesn’t new windows “powershell” have ssh built in?

also to clarify, ssh and file sharing aren’t the same thing. where’s the confusion coming from within the docs? (what’s trying to he done?)


As far as I know it does not, or does not have it enabled by default. (edit: Windows 10 does now include openssh, see below. You can enable it but this all seems like its own completely separate set of instructions from all our existing “doing terminal stuff” docs, Powershell has totally different syntax and behaviors from anything bash-based.

I would probably direct people to use either Windows Subsystem for Linux which basically sets up a complete Ubuntu system inside your Windows install, or my go-to for a long time has been to just install Git for Windows which includes an MSYS2 based bash shell with all the basic tools you’d expect, as well as of course Git.

As a Windows user I can try to add something to the docs for whichever approach we want to encourage, each kind of has its own quirks. (edit: I’m able to connect from windows successfully using the wifi-files page instructions.)

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There’s PuTTY - which is a long standing free/open-source terminal application. Perhaps easiest to direct Windows users to try that?


Putty is still perhaps the easiest way to get a basic terminal going. (as a bonus, it also allows you to make a serial connection if norns wifi is borked.)

For editing code on the norns I’d recommend Visual Studio Code and the sshfs extension.

Installing “git bash” is also easy and never a bad idea

WLS is nice to have for actual linux users but that’s a big hoop to jump through

Personally I find ssh with powershell syntax is annoying but ymmv

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I can’t remember what I had to install PowerShell to do, but as a ludite, it was frustrating and ultimately didn’t work as suggested.

I use WinSCP for SFTPing to my norns and there is a terminal window in that which I’ve had the most success with to SSH. Cyberduck doesn’t work for me for some reason.

will give details when i hear for sure

initially i think this was the 1st step before trying to use norns mother (organelle stuff)

once they get the windows connection sorted out i’ll see if they wanna jump in the specific threads for targeted help

I just setup wifi on my norns shield and used the built-in Windows 10 ssh client to connect and the built-in sftp client to transfer a file. No problems. When I installed Windows 10 I did not have to install anything extra. ssh and sftp are there by default using the standard Windows 10 “cmd.exe” command shell.

If someone is having troubles it may be not having the wifi setup properly on norns, or using incorrect login credentials (although if they got that far it should be obvious what’s wrong).

On Windows, run “ping norns.local” and you should see the expected response. If the host is not found, norns isn’t connected to wifi.


excellent info

thanks for confirming a few things

Just to add to this, samba is running on norns (at least it is on the shield). So you can just navigate to \\norns.local on windows through file explorer or windows key + r to transfer files or open files for editing.


Is ZeroConf now installed by default in Windows10? (used to resolve the norns.local type addresses)

I believe it was not in previous versions?

I don’t understand how zeroconf works (I’ve never looked into it) but it is certainly working on my Windows 10 computer, and I did nothing special to make it work. This was a fresh Windows 10 install 12 months ago. All my computers, linux and windows, all understand *.local addresses without me having to mess with /etc/hosts like I used to.

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