PuTTY has no documentation as yet. This FAQ contains the most common questions people ask me as a result of the lack of documentation.
Does PuTTY support the SSH 2 protocol?
Answer: Only experimentally. The version 0.49 release doesn't, but the latest development snapshots can make an attempt at it. Not everything works, and you might find your sessions fall over randomly, but give it a try and let me know how you get on.
Does PuTTY support <some feature or other>?
Answer: Have a look at the Wishlist. If the feature is listed in there, then it isn't supported in PuTTY. If it isn't, and you still can't find the feature, then send me an email. But read the Wishlist first, OK? That's what it's for.
Can I start an SSH session directly from the command line, without
having to go through the config box?
Answer: Yes, if you've saved the details of the session: if PuTTY's command line starts with an @ sign, the rest of the line is interpreted as the name of a saved session. So
putty @mysession will
do it. (This will also load the rest of the saved settings for that
session, such as font and colours.)
Also, if you've got a development snapshot from after 28-Oct-1999, you can do
putty -ssh host.name, and
putty -ssh will bring up the configuration box with SSH
selected by default.
When I double-click on pscp.exe it brings up a command prompt window
which closes again immediately. What's wrong?
Answer: PSCP is a command-line application. It has no GUI. If you're familiar with the Unix "
scp" command, you'll be
immediately at home with PSCP. If not, bring up a Command Prompt
window and type "
pscp" (assuming it's on your PATH) and
you will be given usage instructions.
Joris van Rantwijk has written some more help on PSCP: follow this link to read it.
Why does selecting a colour in the Colours configuration panel not
Answer: Because that's not what it's for. The Colours panel lists all the colours which your session might use (depending on what control sequences the server sends you) and lets you adjust the appearance of each one. So if your application puts up a heavily coloured display and the blue bits are too dark to read, you can use the Colours panel to alter the shade of blue PuTTY uses. But if your application puts up a whole bunch of black and white text, bringing up the Colours panel and clicking on ANSI Green won't turn your text green.
How do I copy and paste between PuTTY and other Windows applications?
Answer: Copy and paste in PuTTY works a little like Unix
and similar programs. Dragging the left mouse button in a PuTTY
terminal window selects text and automatically copies it to
the Windows clipboard. Hitting the right mouse button in a PuTTY
window pastes the contents of the Windows clipboard into the session
as if it were typed at the keyboard. If you have a third mouse
button, you can configure the buttons to work exactly like
How do I change the location of the PUTTY.RND random number seed
file, if I don't like where PuTTY puts it by default?
Answer: Put the full pathname in the Registry, at
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SimonTatham\PuTTY, as a
String value with the name
Would you like me to register you a snappier domain name? The PuTTY
web page is hard to find.
Answer: No, it isn't. You type "putty" into Google and it's the very first thing that comes back. The PuTTY web page will stay where it is, because stability is good, and it's good that the page should continue to be at the location where people have already bookmarked it. And if I did want a snappier domain name, I'd want to have it registered by me or by somebody I know and trust, rather than by some complete random who I've never met or spoken to before. (No offence.) So, no thank you.
Is it safe for me to download PuTTY and use it on a public PC? What
will it leave on the system?
Answer: It depends whether you trust that PC. If you don't trust the public PC, don't use PuTTY on it, and don't use any other software you plan to type passwords into either. It might be watching your keystrokes, or it might tamper with the PuTTY binary you download.
If you do trust the PC, though, then it's probably OK to use PuTTY on it (but if you don't trust the network, then the PuTTY download might be tampered with, so it would be better to carry PuTTY with you on a floppy).
PuTTY will leave some Registry entries on the PC, which you might want to clean up, and will also leave a random seed file. The seed file will be in the Windows directory (usually
C:\WINDOWS) on a Win95 system, or in your home
directory on a Windows NT system. The Registry stuff will all be
How do I pronounce PuTTY?
Answer: Just like "putty". Exactly like the stuff you put on window frames. It's called PuTTY partly because it makes Windows usable :-)