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FLOSS Friday: PuTTY

November 27th, 2009

Today I’m presenting a tool that’s of use to the higher end tech users.  If you have remote servers that you need to log in to using SSH and you’re running MS Windows, PuTTY is your software.  It is the tool for doing telnet or SSH log ins.  If you have a remote web host that allows SSH, then you watn PuTTY if you’re running MS Windows.  It’s been around for a long time, it’s established, it’s feature rich, and it’s dead easy to use.

Besides the ability to immediately log in, you can save profiles.  These profiles contain information such as host name as well as any other user level settings like font, window size, and so on.  It lets you copy and paste information easily, and it supports the ability to do SSH tunnels quickly and easily.

Even if you think you wouldn’t ever use a telnet/SSH client, you might want to download PuTTY.  It can be used for low level diagnosing of problems with your network connections.  Want to see if you can get to that remote mail server?  Telnet to the mail host on port 25.  Want to see experience web pages as your browser really “sees” them?  Telnet to the web server on port 80.  Type the command GET /     and press enter.  It’s very educational if nothing else.

If you’re using Linux or Mac OS X, use the standard command line ssh clients that are part of the operating system distrubibution.   For those of us that have to deal with MS Windows as a desktop OS, PuTTY is your tool.

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