Wednesday, March 3, 2010

SSH Clients on Windows

One of the thing I really love Mac and Linux over Windows is the built in Terminal. Unfortunately, majorities of computer users are using Windows. For programmers who work for larger corporations are pretty much stuck with Windows.

When it comes to using SSH on Windows, there aren't that many great choices out there. The built in Command-Prompt just doesn't cut it even if Microsoft somehow manages to have ssh support directly built in.

Currently, I'm switching between PuTTY and mintty. Maybe once I have figured out how to overcome windows 7's permission restrictions, I would drop PuTTY completely for mintty.

Here is a list of popular SSH clients on Windows:

  1. PuTTY
    This is probably the most popular SSH client on Windows. It's extremely light weight and straight forward to use. After almost 20 years in development, it is still in beta. There is a long wishlist and most of them have been on pending status for a long time, like the popular wish for having tabs. 
    However, tabbed PuTTY isn't a dream. Currently, there is an alternative solution. It's called PuTTY Connection Manager.
    A little Trick: Once you've downloaded putty.exe, move it to /windows/ directory. This way you can launch putty by simply type "putty" in the Start->Run prompt. 
  2. SecureCRT
    Although not free, but it does come with pretty much every feature you'll probably ever need from a ssh terminal. For larger corporation with enough budget, offering SecureCRT to programmers will definitely put some smiles on their face.
  3. mintty
    mintty is a small but excellent terminal emulator for Cygwin. I'm particularly not a huge fan of Cygwin, but mintty does offer some of the natural features that you'll find on Terminals available on Mac and Linux. Believe or not, mintty is based on code from PuTTY, so do expect that it doesn't have tabs.


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