A Search For A Putty Alternative – Putty Tray and Putty Connection Manager

After getting my beta key for Starcraft 2 I’ve been spending a lot of time in Windows. Windows 7 is a huge improvement over Windows XP but I really miss the transparent tabbed terminals in Linux. I’ve become so used to having numerous SSH tunnels and sessions going in multiple tabs that the classic Putty Client in Windows 7 seemed very restricting. I’ve explored a few Putty alternatives and it seems that a transparent tabbed SSH client isn’t an option in Windows. I hope that there is an application that I’ve missed, but at the moment it seems you can either have a transparent Putty client with text that also becomes transparent and illegible with Putty Tray, or you can have a buggy tabbed SSH client with Putty Connection Manager. Both of these applications are less than desirable, but I have settled on Putty Tray. With Putty Tray, the console windows will minimize to the tray and not take up valuable real estate in the task bar. If used with Pageant, Putty Tray is far superior to Putty Connection Manager and it doesn’t have the usability issues that Putty Connection Manager does.

I’m still tempted to install a virtual machine and run some flavour of Linux just for the clean and visually appealing consoles.


8 Responses to “A Search For A Putty Alternative – Putty Tray and Putty Connection Manager”

  • Zane Ashby Says:

    Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be a Putty variant that supports both tray and these transparency patches (using Aero Glass), but if you’re comfortable with compiling Putty yourself this might help :)

  • IggyMa Says:


    Console2 + Cygwin

    It can also be done by installing git for windows and choosing add tools to the Path. It will add ls, ssh, grep, and a ton of other linux commands to your command line.

  • Echotech Says:

    KiTTy is good http://kitty.9bis.com/ ; Tunnelier is good http://www.bitvise.com/tunnelier ; Cygwin http://www.cygwin.com/ is a bash terminal that runs in windows

  • Dan Says:

    I have a very low spec VM running via VirtualBox for almost exactly the same reasons.

    I wanted gnome-terminal/terminator, and Hamster for time tracking.

    There’s no official desktop environment installed, and I run gnome-panel via FreeNX. This sits up the top left of my screen, only has icons for gnome-terminal and Terminator, and also runs Hamster for time tracking.

    Very happy with it; the VM doesn’t occupy too many resources, and all the windows interact with my Windows desktop as other windows do. I can recommend it if you’re stuck in Windows.

  • Jeff Says:

    Check out MobaXterm. I love this program! And it’s free. http://mobaxterm.mobatek.net/en/

    It is a multitab/multiwindow *nix terminal that is based on Cygwin. Includes an X server is very stable and has tons of features including transparency.


  • Duff Says:

    Tried mobaxterm. Cool software, but it’s unusable because it’s damn ugly. l2gui. :(

  • Bruce Says:

    Tried MobaXterm, and the graphical interface looks really cool to me! It now has replaced PuTTY and XMing for my everyday use. A really cool feature is the “remote graphical browser” that pops up when you SSH to a remote server!

  • Chris Johnson Says:

    I used to use putty, but once I started using Cygwin, I’ve been living in that.