Install and configure PuTTY

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PuTTY is an easy-to-use SSH client for Windows (and Unix as well, but we'll focus on the Windows configuration). In less than 10 minutes from start to finish, you can set yourself up to log into your VPS's command line.

First, download the installer from the developer's web page here: http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html

(Grab the file listed underneath "A Windows installer for everything except PuTTYtel")

  • Double-click the .exe file to start the installation.
  • Click Next.
  • Click Next to accept the default installation folder (which should be fine, as long as you have rights to install software on your computer).
  • Click Next again to accept the default Start Menu configuration.
  • Continue clicking Next, then Install, then Finish. The installation should only take a minute or so on most computers.
  • Start up PuTTY from the Start Menu - this will bring up the PuTTY Configuration window
  • In the "Host Name (or IP address) box, you can enter either:
    • Your VPS's primary IP address OR
    • Your server's hostname (in most cases, this will be server.yourdomain.com, but can vary depending on what hostname you originally chose).
  • Connection Type should have SSH selected by default (which sets the port to 22 automatically). This setting will work unless you have changed your SSH port to something else.
  • Click the Open button at the bottom of the dialog to start your SSH session.
    • Enter your username at the "Login as:" prompt.
    • Enter the password for that account.
    • If you get a prompt that resembles -bash-3.00$ you're in!

You should probably save the session used for connecting to your VPS (you can also do this for any other servers you connect to frequently).

  • In the text box under "Saved Sessions", enter a name. This can be anything you want; it doesn't have to match the host name, IP address, or anything.
  • Click the Save button. Notice that you have a new item listed in the listbox to the left of the Load/Save/Delete buttons.
  • In the future, you can connect to your saved session by:
    • Clicking the session name and the Load button, followed by Open.
    • Double-clicking the session name.

You can also change the default colors and other settings if you like on a per-session basis. PuTTY also supports some advanced options like SSH key login, so you don't have to type in a password every time you log in. There are instructions here describing this procedure.

For some command-line basics, check out the Spry help forum located here: http://forums.spry.com/forumdisplay.php?f=38

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