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How to install the PuTTy SSH client on Linux

PuTTY is the go-to SSH client on Microsoft Windows. But did you know that it is possible to install this program on Linux too? In this guide, we’ll go over how to get the PuTTY SSH client up and running on all major Linux operating systems.

Ubuntu installation instructions

For Ubuntu Linux, Putty is available for installation in the “Universe” software repository. However, not everyone has “Universe” set up by default. Here’s how to turn it on.

First, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, use the add-apt-repository command below to add in the “Universe” software repo to your Ubuntu PC.

sudo add-apt-repository universe

After adding in the Universe software repository, it is time to update your Ubuntu Linux PC’s software sources. To update, run the apt update command below.

sudo apt update

Once Ubuntu’s software sources are up to date, you’ll be able to get the latest release of PuTTY for your Ubuntu PC using the apt install command below.

sudo apt install putty

Debian installation instructions

Debian Linux offers its users a relatively recent release of PuTTY in the “Main” software repository. To get it working on your system, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, use the following apt-get install command below.

sudo apt-get install putty

Please keep in mind that Debian Linux offers software to its users that is significantly out of date. Older software isn’t a big deal, and Debian does it to keep things stable. However, if you want newer features in PuTTY, consider following our guide here to learn how to install newer software on Debian.

Arch Linux installation instructions

The PuTTY SSH client is available to all Arch Linux users via their “Extra” software repository. To start the installation, ensure that the “Extra” software repo is enabled.

If you do not have “Extra” enabled, do the following to enable it.

Step 1: Open up /etc/pacman.conf in the Nano text editor with the command below.

sudo nano -w /etc/pacman.conf

Step 2: Look through the configuration file for the “Extra” software repository. Then, remove all # symbols from around “Extra” to enable it.

Step 3: Save the edits to Nano with Ctrl + O and exit the editor with Ctrl + X.

Step 4: Re-sync your Arch Linux PC to the Pacman servers with the Pacman command.

sudo pacman -Syy

Once the “Extra” repository is set up, you’ll be able to get Putty up and running with the pacman -S command below.

sudo pacman -S putty

Fedora installation instructions

Fedora Linux has the PuTTY SSH client ready to go for Fedora 32, and Rawhide as well. To get the app working on your system, start by opening up a terminal window. You can open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Once the terminal window is open, you’ll be able to install PuTTY on Fedora with the dnf install command below.

sudo dnf install putty

OpenSUSE installation instructions

PuTTY is available to users of OpenSUSE (versions 15.1, 15.2, and Tumbleweed) via the OpenSUSE Oss software repository. To start the installation, open up a terminal window on your desktop by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, once the terminal window is open, make use of the following zypper install command to get the app working.

sudo zypper install putty

Source code

The source code for PuTTY is available on GitHub. With it, you can compile the code to run PuTTY on any Linux operating system, as well as other Unix-like operating systems. To get your hands on the source code for PuTTY, click here.

Connect with PuTTY

To connect to an SSH server with PuTTY follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Open up the PuTTY SSH client on your Linux PC by searching for it in the app menu. You can also launch the app by typing putty in the quick launcher (Alt + F2).

Step 2: Locate the “Host Name (or IP address) box in the PuTTY Configuration window, and click on it with the mouse. Then, enter the remote machine’s IP or hostname in the box.

Step 3: Find the “Port” text box and set the port for the remote machine. Leave it at “22” if you’re unsure of the port number.

Step 4: Find the “Open” button, and click on it. Selecting the “Open” button will initiate an SSH connection through PuTTY to the remote machine over SSH.

Step 5: After clicking the “Open” button, a PuTTY terminal window will appear. Enter the password to the remote machine to gain access.

To exit a PuTTY session, simply close the terminal window. Alternatively, type out the exit command in the terminal and press Enter on the keyboard to log out of the connected SSH session in PuTTY.

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