A step by step guide to Download PuTTY on Windows and installing.
PuTTY, a popular terminal emulator, is an open-source, light-weight, and free SSH client. It was developed by Simon Tatham in the C language.
Its primary function is to connect to a computer remotely while offering the facilities of transferring files, manipulating data, etc.
It offers support to a variety of network protocols like SSH, Telnet, Serial, SCP, SFTP, etc. PuTTY also comes with a command-line tool called “psftp” which can securely transfer files between computers over an SSH connection.
It is compatible to use in most of the operating systems (for both 32 bit and 64 bit).
The List of Operating Systems that support PuTTY:
- Windows 95, 98
- Windows ME, NT
- Windows 2000, 2003, 2008
- Windows XP
- Windows Vista
- Mac OSX
Use of PuTTY
In a multi-user operating system like Unix, the interface is generally of command-line type, just like the command prompt or MS-DOS.
As such the user needs to type in the command in the command line program to get anything processed by the system.
Generally, these commands can quickly be run over a network from a different computer on a different location (client) and the response is transferred over the network to the client.
The arrangement mentioned above is made possible with the help of network protocols like SSH, Telnet, Rlogin, etc. Interestingly, users can give commands to multiple computers simultaneously.
SSH (Secure Shell) protocol is a cryptographic network protocol that allows you to access an internet server while encrypting any information sent to that server.
Some of the other protocols include Telnet, Rlogin only if either you are connected to a Unix system or you have a login account on a web server (a shell account). PuTTY is one such application that enables this kind of transfer.
PuTTY supports the following protocols
- SCP (Secure Copy)
- SSH (Secure Shell)
- Raw socket connection.
Installing PuTTY on Windows
Once it is successfully downloaded on Windows than follow the following steps to install the software:
Double click on the downloaded .msi file and being with the setup process.
Click on next and then select the path for the installation.
Select the product feature you want to be installed in your system and click on install.
Click on Finish to complete the setup and close the dialog box.
Voila! You are done with the installation.
Using SSH in PuTTY (Windows)
Following the successful installation, navigate to the location folder where you have installed the application and run the .exe file.
Manage Session in PuTTY
It is the preliminary panel where you get to specify specific options to open a session.
- The Host Name (or IP Address) bar is where a user will input the name or IP address of the server they want to connect.
- Connection type of radio buttons allows users to choose from the kind of network they are planning to connect.
- The Port bar is the section that is filled automatically on selecting the type of connection. However, if you choose the Raw type, the bar stays blank and requires the user to enter the port manually.
- Upon selecting Serial as the connection type, the Host Name and Port bars will be replaced by Serial Line and Speed.
The “Load, save or delete a stored session” section is to set some connection setting without having to type all the details again when needed.
- Once you save it, it can just select on the saved session and click on Load. The saved settings will appear on their respective boxes in the configuration panel.
- The panel permits to modify a saved session by first loading a session, editing everything you want to change and then clicking on “save” button.
- Users have the option to delete a session as well.
The Close Window On Exit option helps in deciding whether the PuTTY terminal will close as soon as the session ends or restarts the session on the termination.
PuTTY for Linux
PuTTY is not only limited to Windows OS, but it’s popular among Linux users too.
The Linux version is a graphical terminal program which is not pre-installed in most of the Linux distributions.
In various enterprises, many IT projects have their development environment on a remote Linux system where Windows is used as the local system. Why PuTTY?
There is already a Linux terminal in the Linux Operating System. Even then, why an SSH tool like PuTTY is preferred?
- The interface of PuTTY makes it a favorite choice among the users since most of them are accustomed to operating the application on Windows.
- It has the option of connecting to raw sockets and serial ports.
- Saving various sessions and loading them in one go is the main highlighting feature of PuTTY that its users swear by since it is difficult to edit sessions whenever logging-in manually.
Install PuTTY on Linux
On a Linux-based system, PuTTY can easily be installed via terminal. Let us look at the steps of installing the server application on a Ubuntu machine.
1. As a prerequisite, it is necessary to make sure whether the universe repository of Ubuntu is enabled or not.
Type the command:
sudo add-apt-repository universe
and hit enter.
2. Generally, PuTTY is already available in the repository of Ubuntu. Before starting with the installation process, update the packages and repositories of Ubuntu using the command:
sudo apt-get update
Note: The command would make sure that Ubuntu installs the latest version of PuTTY, in case, it might install the older versions of the software. The word “sudo” in the command is used to instruct the terminal to run the update command as “root” since a user might not have privileges to get going with the installation and updation. It will prompt you to enter the username and password if you have the required access.
3. Now, run the command:
sudo apt-get install PuTTY
It will complete the installation by installing the application tools.
4. A prompt will asked if you want to continue the installation. Press ‘y’.
5. PuTTY tools will be unpacked and set up in the further process.
6. To confirm if that the installation is successful, run the command:
sudo dpkg -l PuTTY
It will display information about the application such as version, architecture, and description.
Installation of PuTTY on other Linux distributions
In Debian based Linux system, use apt-get or aptitude to install the server application PuTTY. The command is:
sudo apt-get install PuTTY
PuTTY can easily be installed on Arch-based Linux system. The command for installing is:
sudo pacman -S PuTTY
It is also available for installation on Fedora or Red Hat based Linux system, and the default package manager does that job for it. The command is:
sudo dnf install PuTTY
Working on PuTTY on Linux
Now that you have installed PuTTY, working on it is pretty simple too.
- Just type the command “PuTTY” on the shell prompt. It will open the PuTTY SSH client application.
- After opening it, enter the IP address or the hostname of the computer or any device you want to connect on Hostname field.
- Next, select the required connection type, like SSH, Raw, Telnet, Rlogin, Serial, etc.
- For security reasons, a prompt will ask to confirm the connection. Just click ‘yes’ to continue.
- Now, you will be connected to your remote system. It will further ask for credentials — username and password, to make sure that you are authorized to connect to the system.
- In Linux, the application can also be opened by searching in the Computer Box.
- The Linux version of the program almost looks and feels exactly like the windows version.
SSH Key Management in PuTTY on Linux
Public key authentication is also supported by PuTTY. Public key authentication is used for interactive and automated connections.
It offers a higher cryptographic strength which is difficult to achieve with long passwords. For generating a private key for authentication, the PuTTYgen tool is used.
Open PuTTYgen and run the following command to get public key authentication enabled:
puttygen -t rsa -b 2048 -o thekey.ppk
To get the public key use the following command:
puttygen -L thekey.ppk
Hence, that was all about installing and getting started with PuTTY on Linux based systems.