Jay’s Journal - Posts Tagged ‘tech-tip’

PuTTYcyg with PuTTY Connection Manager

~ October 7th, 2009 ~

Quite a while back I discovered PuTTY Connection Manager and was elated that someone had finally gone and created a tabbed interface for PuTTY. I had said for a long time the “killer app” for me on Linux or OS X is access to a great tabbed terminal interface like Konsole on Linux or iTerm on OS X. PuTTY Connection Manager works great for SSH or Telnet sessions, but there was one more element missing for me: support for PuTTYcyg.

I do most of my work on a macbook with OS X but when I do have to work on Windows, I find it almost impossible to get anything done without access to a terminal with UNIX utils. If you’re not familiar with it, PuTTYcyg simply allows you to use PuTTY as an interface to Cygwin instead of the awful monstrosity that is cmd.exe

Unfortunately, PuTTY Connection Manager does not support PuTTYcyg, so it rules out using PuTTYcm as a full replacement for Konsole or iTerm on Windows. The good news is more than a year after I first investigated this I’ve finally found the information I wanted. Although the enhancement request to add PuTTYcyg support to PuTTY Connection Manager has not moved, it is possible to use the two tools together. Thanks to gscokart on the puttycm forums for his post that explains the details. All that’s needed is to create a specially named profile in PuTTYcyg and then load it in the connection configuration for PuTTYcm and it will act as a workaround to start up a cygterm session in a tab.

Here’s the detailed steps (assumes you are already using PuTTYcyg as your putty.exe):

  1. Create a profile in PuTTYcyg named: " -cygterm -i #
  2. In the PuTTYcyg profile, use a dash for the hostname and cygterm as the connection type so it will connect to cygwin as a terminal
  3. Open PuTTY CM and create a new connection. Enter anything you like in the Connection section, then go to the PuTTY Session section
  4. Select your specially named profile from the drop-down box
  5. In the “Command line (PuTTY parameters):” box enter just a single closing quote: "
  6. When done, your PuTTY command line should look something like this:
    putty.exe -load "" -cygterm -i #" -telnet -P 23 " -

That’s it! After setting the configuration like that you can now open tabs in PuTTY CM with cygterm windows and manage them same as you would any other PuTTY connection. It’s a bit of an ugly hack but I’ll take it since PuTTY CM isn’t open source and who knows when the official PuTTYcyg support will appear.