Windows SSH Clients
January 21, 2017 — 17:39

Author: silver  Category: windows  Comments: Off

I’ve been searching for an alternative for plain PuTTY for a while now.

My requirements are:

  • free, preferably open source
  • in active development
  • ssh-agent
  • GUI
  • Tabs
  • Window transparency

I’ve looked at the following:

  • PuTTY based:
    • MTPuTTY, KiTTY, PuTTYTray ( etc
    • mRemoteNG, PuTTYCM, PuTTYTabManager, PuTTYMan, SuperPuTTY, …
  • Cygwin + OpenSSH (no GUI)
  • SecureCRT (not free)
  • ConEmu ( + PuTTY
  • XShell (

However none of them work flawlessly (I probably have used ConEmu and PuTTY the longest).
Currently I’m using XShell instead which is it’s own thing instead of being PuTTY based.
I also still use PuTTYTray which is one of the more useful PuTTY derivatives (eg transparency, tray, cygterm and can save sessions to file).

Update: I’ve forked over the cheese and completely switched to XShell. I also use (the free version of) Xftp more and more.
These are supposed to be good alternatives too and I might look at them in the future:

  • Poderosa

Jan 2017: Just noticed Termius (previously Serverauditor) which I use on iOS – to my full satisfaction – will be getting a Windows version.

Dec 2018: There’s also Hyper, an Electron and node.js based alternative: It supports tabs and can be extended with plugins. Imo it’s a bit resource heavy and can get sluggish with many tabs and plugins loaded, but not bad.. not bad.

Jun 2019: Been using the quite nice MobaXterm at work the past few months. It’s basically a tabbed GUI around PuTTY with Cygwin and X11 support etc. I use it with WSL for local terminals and that’s been working well for me.

Aug 2019: Microsoft finally decided to offer the competent Windows Terminal. Tabs, colors, theming, supports both Cmd and PS… and ssh works fine. Very useful. This is what I now use as Windows Console and for WSL. Also still using XShell 6.

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