PuTTY with Tabs

From time to time, I need to boot one of my workstations into Windows instead of Linux, and I’m always reminded of the applications I take for granted under Linux.

Although apps like GnomeTerminal need some serious attention in some areas, one quickly becomes accustomed to how they work. I use terminals quite a bit – that is, terminal emulation software – usually to open a secure connection to another computer where I run things like Emacs and what not. For Windows my choice has always been to use SecureCRT or PuTTY by Simon Tatham. The “problem” with PuTTY for me is the lack of tab support, i.e. being able to contain more than one session in a single window. Cluttering the desktop with nine zillion terminal windows isn’t my idea of fun. So, what to do?

There’s already an “item” on the PuTTY list, but it doesn’t have high priority; and for an application which is more or less rock solid, I don’t expect tabbed sessions to move up the list any time soon 🙂 If you don’t mind spending the money, VanDyke has a bundle with SecureCRT and SecureFX (secure FTP) for around USD 130, which is very affordable for two competent pieces of software.

Googling this topic, two suggested solutions are quickly found, and reading on the PuTTY pages, I see that I am not alone in wanting multiple tab support for PuTTY.

If you need this too, these applications may help:

PuttyTabs: www.raisin.de/putty-tabs/putty-tabs.html (.NET 2.0 required)
WinTabber: www.wintabber.com
PuTTY Connection Manager: puttycm.free.fr

WinTabber is a more generic approach which allows encapsulation of other applications, i.e. it can provide tab support for things other than PuTTY as well.

Last but not least, thanks to Simon for a great and solid program (PuTTY)!

4 thoughts on “PuTTY with Tabs”

  1. I have tried WinTabber and the problem is you have to launch an application and then add it to the tab list. Once in the tab list it is fine, but the extra step cancels out the value for me. Though, it is nice to group cmd shells.

    PuttyTabs also didn’t work for me and when I open a Putty session my GUI goes crazy. I was hoping this would work because I don’t mind the independent floating “window”.

    I also tried Putty Connection manager. This app looked really promising but it crashes constantly.

    Finally I started to look at Poderosa. It doesn’t capture text apparently but I may try it any way.

    Putty is great and I think that tabs are necessary. Unfortunately the hacks people have tried don’t work so well (IMHO) and the developers of Putty don’t see it as important. I guess I will have to go back to SecureCRT, which has always been my preference even at a cost.

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