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Installing PuTTY SSH on Windows


PuTTY provides SSH connectivity for Windows and emulates an xterm terminal. This allows users to connect to our Linux machines remotely from a Windows environment.

For more information, please visit the PuTTY homepage.


Make sure you have upgraded to Service Pack 2 (SP2) if running Windows XP. Download and run the current setup executable available here. You will see the following intro screen. Click [Next].

Installation Step 1

The default installation location is recommended. Click [Next].

Installation Step 2

The Start Menu folder is simply the name of the sub directory under which your PuTTY shortcuts will be located. The default value should be fine. Click [Next].

Installation Step 3

Additional tasks include creating shortcuts in various locations to make PuTTY SSH easier to access. The following option set is reasonable. Click [Next].

Installation Step 4

The installer will verify the settings. If everything looks as you set it in previous steps, click [Install].

Installation Step 5

Following a brief installation status screen, you should see the following dialog indicating successful installation of PuTTY. You are now equipped to connect to our clusters remotely. Uncheck "View README.txt" and click [Finish].

Installation Step 6

TIP 1: To avoid re-entering your preferences each time you connect to a machine, you can save your settings in a specific session, or to have the settings available at all times and applied to all future sessions by default, save your settings to "Default Settings" session. To do this, in the "Session" configuration window, type "Default Settings" into the "Saved Sessions" field, and click [Save]:

Saving Default Settings

TIP 2: To save a session to a specific host, i.e., enter the host name in the "Host Name" field, then name the session using the "Saved Sessions" field, and click [Save]:

Saving a Session

To access this session in the future, you can simply double-click the session name in the list-box or create a shortcut in your Start-Menu or on your desktop pointing to your PuTTY binary ("C:\Program Files\PuTTY\putty.exe" by default) using the flag "-load hammer" where you replace "hammer" with your selected session name:

Session Shortcut

You can change the shortcut's name by selecting the "General" tab and entering your desired name into the text field:

Session Shortcut Name

Configure X11 Forwarding in PuTTY SSH

In the Putty configuration window, select "Connection->SSH->X11" and make sure the "Enable X11 forwarding box is checked, then return to the Session category and click [Open] when you are ready to connect to the specified machine:

Putty X11 Forwarding

Setting your username

In the Putty configuration window, select "Connection->Data" and type your username into the "Auto-login username" field, then return to the Session category and click [Open] when you are ready to connect to the specified machine, or return to the "Session" window and save your settings:

Putty Username Setting