PuTTY for Mac: Everything You Need To Know

PuTTY for Mac: Everything You Need To Know

In this post, I’ve included step-by-step instructions for installing Putty for MAC operating system. Putty is an SSH GUI client that is mostly used on Windows computers. To use SSH protocols, MAC systems need to have an embedded terminal. Putty, on the other hand, is an excellent GUI-based SSH client.

What Exactly is PuTTY?

PuTTY is both an SSH client and a terminal in one. It has a graphical user interface for connecting to and configuring known servers. PuTTY is not a native Mac software. Thus, it does not seem natural to use. It doesn’t even support paste, which makes some activities (such as entering a password) difficult. Rather than integrating well with macOS, it seeks to reproduce the appearance and feel of the original Windows program.

How to Setup PuTTY on MacOS

How to Setup PuTTY on MacOS

MacPorts is the best way to install PuTTY on macOS. While Homebrew may be used to install PuTTY, it does not include the GUI component of PuTTY.

With MacPorts activated:

  1. On your Mac, launch Terminal.
  2. Execute the following command: sudo port install putty.
  3. This should download and install three programs: putty, puttygen, and puttytel into /opt/local/bin.
  4. Because /opt/local/bin should be in your PATH, you should be able to launch PuTTY from the command line by just typing: putty.
  5. You may open putty by creating a shortcut with a symlink or a Mac alias. For instance, from your desktop:

ln -s /opt/local/bin/putty ~/Desktop/PuTTY

Alternatively, you may use Automator to build an Application that will run in your Applications folder like any other.

How to Make Use of PuTTY For Mac

How to Make Use of PuTTY For Mac

Begin by launching PuTTY from the command line or using one of the abovementioned ways.

There might be a slight lag between launching the program and seeing this message. This is most likely related to PuTTY’s need to start the XQuartz backend and should be ignored. To connect to a remote server, type its Host Name or IP address into the appropriate box.

SSH, Telnet, and Rlogin are among the connection types supported by PuTTY. These are distinct protocols with different advantages, but most of the time, you will want to utilize SSH, which is the default. PuTTY will automatically set the Port based on the connection. If the server uses a non-standard port, you can override it.

When you’re through configuring, click Open to connect to your preferred server.

  1. Choose an existing session from the list of Saved Sessions, or provide a new name in the single-line text field.
  2. Save your work by clicking the Save button.

Loading a saved session is as simple as choosing one from the list and clicking Load.

Should You Use PuTTY For Mac?

In all honesty, there are better SSH clients for macOS users than PuTTY. The software needs to be fixed on macOS, and you will likely face several confused dialogs and error warnings. MacOS has good SSH support built in, and PuTTY only provides a little more.

If you use both macOS and Windows, you might appreciate the consistency that PuTTY on both provide. It’s also more difficult to forget that you’re connecting to a distant system if you only use PuTTY for that purpose.


Installing and using PuTTY on macOS is difficult, but it is achievable. A Mac version of PuTTY can be handy for people who already use it on Windows. PuTTY lets you customize the integrated terminal emulator and store your settings as part of a session. This allows you to easily identify between your remote connections, which may help your productivity.

Also read: Mac OS Terminal Commands: Cheatsheet Everybody Needs

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