A few things I recently learned about PuTTY (the ssh client)

I have been playing around with PuTTY (Yes, I know, a grown man playing with putty evokes some rather odd pictures. I’m talking about the ssh client tool here though). recently and discovered a few things I didn’t know.

You can specify the user name to connect with

I already knew that there is a way to specify the user name to connect with on the command line, using the -l (lower case L) option. What I didn’t know is that there are two ways to specify it in the GUI (and thus, save it to a configuration)

  1. Put it in front of the host name you want to connect to, like username@servername.whatever
  2. Configure it under Connection -> Data -> Auto-login username

You can use host names when configuring tunnels

I had already used ssh tunnels but I always used IP addresses for the destination. For whatever reason it never occurred to me that it would be possible to simply use the destination’s host name. But yes that’s possible (and it is documented) and it makes the tunnel list much more readable.

There is a command line tool in the PuTTY installation

This is probably no news to anybody who used PuTTY for connecting to some SCM. There is a pure command line tool in the Putty installation called plink. Actually I already used that but had forgotten about it.

There is a modified version that stores its configuration to files

I always thought it rather cumbersome that PuTTY stored its configuration in the Registry. Even though that is a bit alleviated by using the portable version of it, there is an even better solution: A modified PuTTY version that stores its configuration to files.

While looking for links to put into the blog post, I also found 10 Awesome PuTTY Tip sand Tricks You Probably Didn’t Know on The Geek Stuff (Sounds like click bait but does actually contain useful information.)