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PuTTY for Linux

This page is about PuTTY on Linux. For the Windows version, see here. For the Mac version, see here.

PuTTY Linux vesion is a graphical terminal program that supports the SSH, telnet, and rlogin protocols and connecting to serial ports. It can also connect to raw sockets, typically for debugging use.

Since most people would just use the preinstalled OpenSSH in a terminal window on Linux for basic SSH access, the primary use of Putty on Linux is probably debugging: connecting to raw sockets and connecting to serial ports.

How to Install PuTTY on Linux

Putty is not installed by default on most Linux distributions. On Debian, it can be installed with the following command:

sudo aptitude install putty

Other related tools come in a separate installation package. To install them, use:

sudo aptitude install putty-tools

Running PuTTY

The graphical client can be started by just running putty. On most distibutions the command will be available through the menus. It can typically be found in the Internet or Network category.


When started, PuTTY opens a terminal Window. The Linux version of the client loks and feels almost exactly the same as the Windows version. For guidance on how to use it, see description of the Windows version.

New call-to-actionSSH Key Management and Public Key Authentication

PuTTY supports public key authentication. It uses its own key format (.ppk files).

The puttygen tool is used for generating a private key for authentication.

To enable public key authentication, first run puttygen, typically as:

puttygen -t rsa -b 2048 -o mykey.ppk

Then get the public key using:

puttygen -L mykey.ppk

Copy the public key (or cut-and-paste it) to the .ssh/authorized_keys file on the server that you want to log in to using the key. You may need to create the .ssh directory and the authorized_keys file if they don't already exist. See more information on authorized keys.