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Goodbye PuTTY?

Alastair Grant | Saturday 28 October 2017

A must-have tool for any system administrator: PuTTY, written by Simon Tatham it is the de-facto terminal/ssh client for Windows.

Whilst Windows has packed a Telnet client for as long as I can remember, Microsoft have never seen fit to bundle a SSH client.  PowerShell was born out of the need to offer an environment as powerful as Bash, which is lets face it, where most SSH clients connect to.

I've keep a copy of PuTTY on me at all times, and even have it plain-text encoded so I can be sure to get it through any overly paranoid proxy.  My reliance on it though, is looking like a thing of the past.

With Windows 10, Microsoft has included the "Windows Subsystem for Linux" - which is an implementation of the Linux kernel interfaces, without actually having any Linux kernel included.  What this means is, you can run binary compatible Linux code on Windows.

What does this actually mean?  It means you can run openSUSE (and others) on Windows without the overhead of virtualisation.  And... what does this actually mean?  It means you can run your standard bunch of bash tools from a command window - including "ssh".  Which means, no need for PuTTY.

There are a lot of things that Linux's ssh client does better than PuTTY but one area that I find PuTTY really stands out is proxy support.  If you're behind a HTTP proxy, PuTTY makes it very easy to tunnel through.  On Linux you need a few other tools and some configuration to achieve the same result.

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