Software developer blog

Moving your PuTTY config

The general stereotype is, that geeky programmers don't like windows, and to be honest it really is like an annoying aunt: you hate her, but got to put up with her sometimes. Although one must acknowledge windows' virtues, and I'd find it inconvenient to get along without my windows box at home. Not because of windows, but because of software that is only available for windows and don't run on Wine. However when it comes to coding I inevitably find myself opening an SSH connection to my Linux based server. So not surprisingly PuTTY is among the first 3 or 4 applications I install on a fresh windows.

One of the most convenient features of Linux is that configurations are stored in simple files allowing you to just copy them to your new home directory without much trouble. On windows however configurations are hidden deep into the registry making it a real pain to re customize your windows desktop once you replaced your old PC with a new one. Not that if windows was so highly customizable, but it still takes like a day to get all of my settings right. Today was such a day...

However there are some good tricks one can use to speed up the process. For example today I found a very nice how to, on exporting your PuTTY settings, and importing them on another PC by Grant Robertson. In case that page ever changes or disappears here is the short version:

  1. Open the registry on your old pc.
  2. Search for PuTTY key.
  3. Export the the key from registry into a .reg file.
  4. Copy it to the new PC
  5. Right click on the file, and choose merge.

And if all went well, all your favorite sessions are now available on your new PC. That comes really handy when you make heavy use of SSH tunnels, or other features that need configuration, and don't want to spend hours remembering all the details of your individual PuTTY settings.

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