When we have to connect to our computer to use it remotely, we have several ways to do it. The most common is to use remote control software, such as Windows 10 Remote Desktop, or TeamViewer, which allows us to control our PC over the Internet as if we were sitting in front of it. However, there are other much more professional options to control any system remotely, especially when what we want to do is connect to a Linux system. For example, make use of software, such as PuTTY, to connect to it through protocols such as SSH.
PuTTY is a free and open source software designed to be able to make use of the SSH protocol in Windows very easily . It is true that the newer versions of this operating system bring their own client that we can use from CMD. We can even use the Bash client if we configure the Windows Subsystem for Linux. But if what we want is a complete client, with a multitude of options, then we have to choose this one.
How to use PuTTY
The main interface of this program is basically a kind of configuration menu. On the left side we will find all the options offered by the program, while on the right the different related sections.
The section that interests us to begin with is Session . From there it will be from where we are going to connect to a remote server.
How to connect to a server
Basically what we need to connect remotely to a server is to know its IP, the port we are going to use and the protocol we want to use. If we change the protocol, it will automatically change the port to the one used by that default protocol. But we can change it by hand in case we need other functions.
Below the connection data we will find the sessions section. Here we will be able to save our most common connections to return to them with a couple of clicks at any time. Very useful when we usually work with many protocols at the same time.
Finally, we can choose what we want to appear when we close the remote connection, if the main PuTTY screen or if we want to close the service.
Once the connection details have been filled in, we click on «Open» and we will be able to see the terminal. We will enter the username and password and we can start to remotely control the PC.
PuTTY terminal options
Once connected to a remote terminal, the only thing we will see is the terminal to enter the corresponding commands. However, the PuTTY window hides a simple menu of options that will allow us to control the session. To open this menu, we simply have to click on the icon in the upper left part of the window.
The main options that we are going to find while we are connected to the machine are:
- Special Command : It allows us to directly execute a series of common commands on the machine in which we are working. This option may or may not appear, depending on the machine to which we connect.
- Event Log : We can see a record where it details all the processes and data that are generated in the connection.
- New Session : Allows you to return to the main screen of the program to create a new connection to the same or to another server with different parameters.
- Subtract Session : Closes the session that we have open and restarts it to start working with it from the login.
- Duplicate Session : It will create a duplicate of the session we are doing.
- Saved Sessions : Here we have a direct access to the sessions that we have saved in the program, along with their preferences.
- Change Settings : It allows us to change some of the configuration parameters of the session that we are using.
- Copy All to Clipboard : Copy all the contents of the program buffer to the Windows clipboard.
- Clear Scrollback : Equivalent to using the CLS or clear function. It clears the screen so that the previous commands do not bother us, but it does not clear the buffer.
- Reset Terminal : Completely reboots the session, starting from scratch. Clears the screen and the buffer.
- Full Screen : Converts the console to full screen, and pressing Alt + Enter returns to its normal state.
PuTTY tricks for working with SSH
This program may seem very simple and complicated. However, its use is extremely simple if we know what the main tricks we can find for this program are.
One of the best features of this program is the ease with which we can copy text in the program. For this we only have to select the text that we want to copy from the remote SSH console. We don’t have to press any keys. Just by selecting it, it will go to the clipboard.
Having to enter the same IP, the same port and the same protocol all the time is counterproductive. For this reason, PuTTY allows us to save the sessions that we use most often in the program. Thus, we will be able to always have them at hand to be able to resort to them when we need it. Of course, it will only save the session data, that is, the IP, the type of connection and the port, nothing more. It will never save the user or the login password, so our servers will always be safe.
If we want to close an open session, we can choose to directly close the terminal window that we have started, or more quickly, use the keyboard shortcut Alt + F4 to close it. After disconnection, the session will also be closed on the remote server.
Download PuTTY in Spanish
This program is completely free, so we will be able to download it from its website without paying anything. We will be able to download this software for Windows, both in 32-bit and 64-bit, as well as for Linux. In the case of Windows, we will download an MSI installer that will allow us to leave the program ready to use.
In addition, if we prefer, we can also download the executable .exe from this website that will allow us to run the program in a portable way, without having to install anything on the computer. In any case, if we are going to save data (such as settings or credentials) in the program, we recommend using the installable version of it, for convenience.
PuTTY is only in English; we will not be able to download it in Spanish.
Alternatives to PuTTy
Although PuTTy is a very interesting and free program on the Internet, we can find some tools that we can use as alternatives and that we must know:
This software stands out for the possibility of transferring files or directories to the server to which it is connected, being able to enjoy graphic applications thanks to Xming. The program will allow us to communicate in hexadecimal mode through the serial port. It includes very useful tools and settings that should be easy to understand by users with intermediate network tools experience. We can download it from this link .
It is a software application that allows us to initiate multiple remote connections and organize them efficiently, opening multiple tabs. In addition, it incorporates comprehensive Help content, thus ensuring that both beginners and people with a lot of experience can use it to its full potential. We can download mRemoteNG from here .