PuTTY — Configuration and Tutorial

PuTTY is an easy-to-use telnet and SSH program for Windows developed by Simon Tatham. CUIT recommends PuTTY for connecting to the UNIX servers and other telnet/SSH hosts over the internet. Please follow the download instructions below.

Download and installation instructions

Visit the PuTTY for Windows external site and click the appropriate installer.msi link to download the latest version of PuTTY. If you're not sure whether to get 32-bit or 64-bit version, read the FAQ response about bit versions.

Select the appropriate MSI ('Windows Installer') file to download

Double-click on the .msi file that you downloaded, and proceed through the setup steps. In most cases, it's best to install the application to the recommended default destination location. Click Finish to complete the installation.

Typically, install PuTTY to default destination C:\Program Files\PuTTY\

Select PuTTY from your Programs menu. If you have Windows 10, you can do this most easily by clicking the Windows icon in the lower-left hand corner and then typing "Putty" to bring up all-Putty related programs.

Type "putty" into the Windows' program menu to find the application

If you want to log in to CUNIX, enter cunix.cc.columbia.edu for the Host Name and click Open. If you want to access a different host, enter that location and click Open.

In the PuTTY configuration window, type in cunix.cc.columbia.edu in the Host Name field to connect to CUNIX

At the CUNIX log in prompt, type in your UNI and press Enter. Then enter your UNI password.

Click on the terminal icon in the upper-left corner in an open PuTTY session to view PuTTY's drop-down menu.

For information about multifactor authentication on CUNIX, please see our Using Duo authentication on CUNIX page.

CUNIX login screen with "login as:" prompt. Enter your UNI here and click enter, then enter your CUNIX password.

PuTTY Guides

Note: Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V do not work in PuTTY.

  • Copying: Highlighting text with your mouse in the PuTTY window automatically copies that text to the clipboard, so you can paste in that window or any other application.
  • Pasting: After copying the text from another application or the PuTTY window (by highlighting), simply right-click on the terminal screen or type Shift+Insert. Note that you should position your cursor in Unix applications before pasting—the text does not paste to where you right-click on the screen, but to where the cursor is.

Customize your default terminal environment by doing the following:

  1. From the Start button, choose the PuTTY application in Program Files/PuTTY.
  2. In the PuTTY Configuration window, choose an items from the menu list on the left and change the values on the right. Here is a list of common items to customize (and which section on the left they are found in):
    1. Printer: Go to the Terminal section to set your local printer for ANSI printing.
    2. Screen and Buffer Size: Go to the Window section to set how big your default screen, by changing the Rows and Columns. Change Lines of scrollback to change the window's buffer.
    3. Font: Go to the Appearance section, under Window, to set the default font.
    4. Colours: Go to the Appearance section, under Colours, to change the foreground and background colors by choosing each of the first six lines in the Select a colour to adjust option. After selecting each row, click the Modify button, choose your preferred color. Make sure the following pairs have sufficiently contrasting colors or you won't be able to see the characters:
    • Default Foreground and Default Background
    • Default Bold Foreground and Default Bold Background
    • Cursor Text and Cursor Colour
  3. To save these settings, click Session on the top of the left menu.
  4. Click the Default Settings option in the Saved Sessions area.
  5. Click the Save button. Now, whenever you use the Cunix shortcut, connect from your web browser, or create a new profile, these settings will be used for your environment.

From here, you can Change Settings, start a New Session, Duplicate a Session and Reset Terminal.

  1. Start PuTTY by selecting it from your Programs menu.
    – If you have Windows 10, you can do this most easily by clicking the Windows icon in the lower-left hand corner and then typing "Putty" to bring up all-Putty related programs.
    – If you have an older version of Windows, choose the PuTTY application in Program Files/PuTTY.
  2. Type the hostname
    in the Hostname text box and click Open. To save a session, enter the hostname in the Hostname text box and enter the name you want to save that session as in the Saved Sessions, text box and click Save. Select a saved session by highlighting a previously saved session and click Load and then Open.