How to Install PuTTY SSH Client on Debian 12, 11 or 10

PuTTY SSH Client, a renowned open-source tool, offers a seamless experience for users seeking to manage remote servers and network devices. Understanding its core functionalities and advantages is crucial for those aiming to install PuTTY SSH Client on Debian 12 Bookworm or the older stable releases of Debian 11 Bullseye or Debian 10 Buster. Initially designed for Windows, this versatile client has expanded its reach to include Debian Linux, presenting a compelling alternative to the standard SSH CLI terminal.

Noteworthy Features of PuTTY SSH Client:

  • Intuitive GUI: Unlike the text-dependent SSH CLI terminal, PuTTY boasts a graphical interface, simplifying the configuration and management of SSH connections.
  • Efficient Session Management: Users can effortlessly save, recall, and toggle between multiple SSH sessions, eliminating the need to input connection details repetitively.
  • Enhanced Terminal Emulation: PuTTY’s terminal emulation surpasses the standard SSH CLI terminal, supporting diverse character sets, terminal types, and adaptable keyboard mappings.
  • Protocol Versatility: Beyond SSH, PuTTY accommodates telnet, rlogin, and raw socket connections, broadening its utility for various remote systems.
  • Secure Port Forwarding: PuTTY’s user-friendly interface facilitates the configuration of port forwarding and tunneling, ensuring encrypted and secure access to remote services.
  • Comprehensive Logging: Users can activate detailed session logs with PuTTY, aiding in issue resolution and remote system activity monitoring.
  • Advanced Scripting: While the standard SSH CLI terminal offers scripting, PuTTY’s command-line options and associated utilities, like plink and pscp, enable intricate automation and tool integration.
  • Broad Compatibility: With availability across platforms such as Windows, Linux, and macOS, PuTTY caters to users operating in diverse environments or alternating between OSs.

PuTTY SSH Client emerges as a robust and feature-rich alternative to the conventional SSH CLI terminal for Debian users. Now, onto the main article on installing the software.

Install PuTTy SSH Client on Debian 12, 11, or 10 via APT

Step 1: Update Debian Before PuTTY SSH Client Installation

Before starting the installation process, ensuring that your Debian system is up-to-date is essential. Updating your system ensures you have the latest security patches and software updates.

To update your Debian system, open the terminal and execute the following command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Step 2: Install PuTTY SSH Client on Debian via APT Command

Debian includes PuTTY in its default software repository, making installing the SSH client on your system easy. To begin the installation process, open the terminal and execute the following command:

sudo apt install putty putty-tools

The sudo apt install command installs the specified packages along with their dependencies. In this case, putty and putty-tools are the packages to be installed.

Step 3: Verify PuTTY Installation

Check the version of the PuTTY SSH client on your Debian system by using this command in the terminal:

putty --version

This command outputs the installed version of PuTTY, confirming that the installation process was successful. You can now use PuTTY for your Debian system’s SSH and telnet needs.

Launch PuTTY SSH Client on Debian 12, 11 or 10

After successfully installing PuTTY, you can launch the SSH client using the terminal. To open PuTTY from the terminal, execute the following command:

putty

This command starts the PuTTY application, and the main PuTTY Configuration window appears on your screen.

Alternatively, you can launch the PuTTY SSH Client using the graphical user interface (GUI). To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Activities menu located in the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. Click on the Show Applications icon, represented by a grid of nine dots, usually found at the bottom-left corner of the Activities overview.
  3. In the Show Applications window, search for “PuTTY” by typing it into the search bar or browsing the listed applications.
  4. Click on the PuTTY SSH Client icon to launch the application.
Screenshot showcasing how to launch PuTTY application from the 'Show Applications' menu on Debian Linux.
Navigate to the ‘Show Applications’ menu and select the PuTTY application icon to start your SSH client on Debian Linux.

Getting Started with PuTTy SSH Client on Debian 12, 11, or 10

This section will explore tips and best practices for starting with the PuTTY SSH client on Debian Linux. These tips will help you maximize PuTTY’s features and improve productivity when managing remote connections.

See also
How to Install Timeshift on Debian 12, 11 or 10

Configure and Save PuTTY SSH Sessions with Debian

One of the key features of PuTTY is the ability to save and manage multiple SSH sessions. To configure and save a new SSH session, follow these steps:

  1. Launch PuTTY.
  2. In the Session category, enter the remote server’s hostname or IP address in the Host Name (or IP address) field.
  3. Specify the port number in the Port field (default is 22 for SSH).
  4. Choose SSH as the connection type.
  5. Enter a descriptive name for the session in the Saved Sessions field and click the Save button.

Once you have saved a session, you can quickly load its settings by selecting it from the Saved Sessions list and clicking Load.

Customize PuTTY’s Appearance with Debian

PuTTY allows you to customize its appearance to suit your preferences. Some common customizations include:

  • Changing the font and size: Navigate to Window > Appearance. Click the Change button next to the Font settings section to choose a different font and size.
  • Adjusting window colors: Go to Window > Colours. Select the color you want to change and click the Modify button to choose a new color.
  • Setting window transparency: Navigate to Window > Behaviour. Enable the Use system-provided window decorations (if available) option, and adjust the Window transparency slider.

Use Key-Based Authentication with PuTTY on Debian

Key-based authentication is a more secure method of logging into remote servers than passwords. To set up key-based authentication with PuTTY, follow these steps:

  1. Generate a public-private key pair using the PuTTY Key Generator (PuTTYgen). Open the terminal and run puttygen.
  2. Choose the desired key type (RSA or EdDSA) and click Generate.
  3. Move your mouse randomly over the blank area to generate randomness for the key.
  4. Once the key is generated, save the public key and private key to separate files.
  5. On the remote server, append the contents of the public key file to the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file.
  6. In PuTTY, navigate to Connection > SSH > Auth. Click Browse and select the private key file.

Enable X11 Forwarding on PuTTY with Debian

If you need to run graphical applications on the remote server and display them on your local machine, enable X11 forwarding. To do this:

  1. Install an X server (e.g., Xming) on your local machine.
  2. Launch PuTTY and load the desired session.
  3. Navigate to Connection > SSH > X11.
  4. Check the Enable X11 forwarding option.
  5. Connect to the remote server.
Screenshot of the default user interface of the PuTTY SSH Client once opened on Debian Linux.
An illustrative view of what you’ll see when you open the PuTTY SSH Client on a Debian Linux system.

PuTTy SSH PSCP CLI Commands with Debian 12, 11, or 10

This section will delve into the PSCP (PuTTY Secure Copy) command-line utility and provide examples of common PSCP commands. PSCP is a powerful file transfer tool that allows you to securely transfer files between your local machine and a remote server over SSH.

What is PSCP?

PSCP is a command-line tool from PuTTY that lets you transfer files securely between your local machine and a remote server using SCP or SFTP. You can authenticate with PSCP using passwords or keys.

Example PSCP Commands

Below are ten examples of PSCP commands and explanations of what they do:

Upload a file to a remote server:

pscp local-file.txt user@remote-server:/path/to/destination

This command uploads the file local-file.txt from your local machine to the specified destination path on the remote server.

Download a file from a remote server:

pscp user@remote-server:/path/to/remote-file.txt local-destination

This command downloads the file remote-file.txt from the remote server and saves it to the specified local destination.

Transfer a directory and its contents:

pscp -r local-directory user@remote-server:/path/to/destination

This command uploads the entire local-directory and its contents to the remote server using the -r flag, which stands for “recursive.”

Transfer files using key-based authentication:

pscp -i private-key.ppk local-file.txt user@remote-server:/path/to/destination

This command uploads the local-file.txt using key-based authentication. The -i flag specifies the private key file to use.

Transfer files over a specific port:

pscp -P 2222 local-file.txt user@remote-server:/path/to/destination

This command uploads the local-file.txt using a specific port (in this example, port 2222). The -P flag allows you to specify the port number.

Transfer files using SCP protocol:

pscp -scp local-file.txt user@remote-server:/path/to/destination

This command uploads the local-file.txt using the SCP protocol. The -scp flag enforces using SCP instead of SFTP, the default protocol.

Transfer files using SFTP protocol:

pscp -sftp local-file.txt user@remote-server:/path/to/destination

This command uploads the local-file.txt using the SFTP protocol. The -sftp flag enforces the use of SFTP instead of SCP.

Transfer files with a specific cipher:

pscp -c aes256-cbc local-file.txt user@remote-server:/path/to/destination

This command uploads the local-file.txt using a specific cipher (in this example, AES-256-CBC). The -c flag specifies the desired cipher.

See also
How to Install phpMyAdmin with LEMP on Debian 12, 11 or 10

Display progress while transferring files:

pscp -v local-file.txt user@remote-server:/path/to/destination

This command uploads the local-file.txt and displays progress information during the transfer. The -v flag stands for “verbose.”

Transfer files with a bandwidth limit:

pscp -l 1024 local-file.txt user@remote-server:/path/to/destination

This command uploads the local-file.txt with a bandwidth limit of 1024 Kbps. The -l flag allows you to specify the bandwidth limit in kilobits per second.

By understanding and utilizing these PSCP commands, you can manage file transfers between your local machine and remote servers efficiently and securely with PuTTY.

Additional Management Commands For PuTTY SSH Client on Debian 12, 11, or 10

This section will cover the uninstallation process for the PuTTY SSH client and offer additional tips for users who no longer need the software on their Debian system.

How to Remove PuTTY SSH Client From Debian

If you decide that you no longer require the PuTTY SSH client on your Debian system, you can uninstall it by following these steps:

Execute the following command in the terminal to remove both PuTTY and PuTTY Tools:

sudo apt remove putty putty-tools

This command will uninstall PuTTY and its associated tools, effectively removing all traces of the software from your system.

Conclusion

This comprehensive guide has explored the PuTTY SSH client on Debian Linux, its installation process, and how to use it. We have discussed various features of the PuTTY SSH client, from launching the application to using PSCP commands for secure file transfers. Additionally, we have covered uninstalling PuTTY and provided tips for a better user experience.

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