Recommendation: PuTTY Connection Manager

Linux desktop users: this post is probably not for you. You've got like a gazillion of these tools available.

Windows users: If you're like me, and use PuTTY all the time to manage your Linux MySQL servers, you'll appreciate this gem. It's called PuTTY Connection Manager and it, obviously, manages PuTTY connections. Not a very creative name, but a fine piece of software.

It's actively developed (latest alpha version out about two months ago), and boasts these features (taken from the developer website):
  • Tabs and dockable windows for PuTTY instances.
  • Fully compatible with PuTTY configuration (using registry).
  • Easily customizable to optimize workspace (fullscreen, minimze to tray, add/remove toolbar, etc...).
  • Automatic login feature regardless to protocol restrictions (user keyboard simulation).
  • Post-login commands (execute any shell command when logged).
  • Connection Manager : Manage a large number of connections with specific configuration (auto-login, specific PuTTY Session, post-command, etc...).
  • Quick connect toolbar to quickly launch a PuTTY connection.
  • Import/Export whole connections informations to XML format (generate your configuration automatically from another tool and import it, or export your configuration for backup purpose).
  • Encrypted configuration database option available to store connections informations safely (external library supporting AES algorithm used with key sizes of 128, 192 and 256 bits, please refer for the legal status of encryption software in your country).
  • Standalone executable, no setup required.
  • Completely free for commercial and personal use : PuTTY Connection Manager is freeware.
 Things that I personally liked about it:
  1. It's fast, since it's only a reasonably lightweight wrapper for the already fast PuTTY.
  2. It can save a portable connection database in a file, unlike PuTTY, which uses the registry for it's connections.
  3. It looks and feels like the Visual Studio window manager, so you can arrange and dock your PuTTY windows in all sorts of creative rectangular ways.
  4. It is relatively feature rich, but it doesn't get in your way, and just works most of the time.
  5. It's completely free.
Get it here.


If you don't like it, there is another alternative that I personally like less for SSH-only work, which is called mRemote. It is much more advanced, has support for VNC and RDP, but I prefer the simpler and more flexible interface of PuTTY Connection Manager.