Windows Installation Guide

This guide describes how to install the strongDM Client on your Windows machine. The Client consists of a graphical user interface (GUI) and a command line interface (CLI) utility.

It is not recommended to use the strongDM client with Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). WSL2 explicitly does not work with the strongDM client. Both WSL1 and WSL2 are not supported.


  1. When you receive the email inviting you to your strongDM account, open the email and click the enclosed link to set your password.
  2. After logging in, you will have the option to download the Windows Client. Alternately, you may download the Client directly. The name of the file will be in the following format: SDM-[VERSION_NUMBER].exe.
  3. To install the Client, double-click the downloaded EXE file and run its installation.


  1. To launch the application, open the Start menu and type "sdm" in the search bar or navigate to the Downloads folder. Launch the SDM application.

  2. Next, click on the SDM icon in the Taskbar, typically found in the lower right of your screen.

    SDM in the Taskbar
    SDM in the Taskbar

  3. Log in with the email address and password that you used in the first Installation step.

  4. After logging in, a list of resources you have permission to access will appear in the GUI (i.e., in the Taskbar menu).

  5. To enable a connection to one of the Resources, simply click on the one you'd like to access. A green icon will appear next to the connected Resource. At this point you may now interact with it using your preferred tool. When prompted for connection information, you can usually use localhost for the hostname/IP, leave the username and password blank, and specify the port that is next to the Resource in the GUI. If the connection fails using these defaults, check the Connect to Resources documentation for further information.

    If the Resource that you click in the GUI is a website, it will launch in your default browser.

    To disconnect from any Resource, simply click the named instance in the GUI and you'll see the green icon disappear. This will break any existing connections to this instance.

Run strongDM automatically from start (optional)

By default, the GUI requires a manual launch whenever your Windows machine is started or restarted. To configure strongDM to run automatically from start, do the following.

  1. Open the Start menu and type "run" in the search bar. Launch the "Run" application. (Alternately, use the shortcut "Windows logo button + R".)
  2. Type "shell:common startup" and click OK. The Startup folder will open (i.e., C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp).
  3. Copy the SDM shortcut from the app menu (i.e., C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\strongDM) and paste it in the Startup folder.

When you restart your computer, the SDM app will appear in the Taskbar. Depending on your network settings, you might have to allow access for the sdm32.exe file.


In order to set up the CLI utility, do the following:

  1. Find sdm32.exe in the following location in your Windows/File Explorer folder: C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Local\SDM\app-[ver]\resources\sdm32.exe.
  2. Copy this file to a directory in your PATH parameter. The suggested location is C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps\sdm.exe, but any location specified in PATH is acceptable.
  3. Name the copied file sdm.exe rather than sdm32.exe so that you can call it via C:\> sdm, which is consistent with CLI usage throughout the strongDM documentation.
  4. Test that the utility is installed correctly by running C:\> sdm --version in the command line. If correctly installed, it will return a version.

SSH with Windows 10/11

Windows 10 and 11 come with OpenSSH installed by default, but the executable is not where sdm looks for it by default. In order to use sdm ssh commands, you must copy ssh.exe from C:\Windows\System32\OpenSSH\ssh.exe to C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps\ssh.exe

Currently, the CLI utility will not update automatically. To ensure that it is up to date, periodically run "C:> sdm update".

If any errors occur or if the installation fails in any way, please contact for assistance.

Mac Installation Guide
Linux Installation Guide