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Installing & Configuring Putty

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What is Putty?

Putty is a tool that will allow you to have a Linux like terminal window on Windows.

Why do I need Putty?

Most Web Servers now a days have Linux as their operating system.

If you need to remotely manage your Linux Web Server, you will need to access it via a secure SSL connection in order to execute commands, update software, or install new features.

That can be easily accomplished if you are trying to remotely access your Web Server in a computer that has also a Linux operating system. The same is true if you are on a Mac computer since OS X is a Unix based operating system.

However, you are out of luck if you are trying to remotely manage your Linux Web Server from a Windows computer. That's where Putty comes to the rescue!

When you run Putty in Windows, you will see a Linux like terminal window that you can use to remotely access a Linux Server.

Should Drupal developers care about Putty?

If, for example, you have a Shared Hosting account, you don't have to manage your Linux Web Server. However, if you are a Drupal developer, there will be one thing that you will want to run in your Linux Web Server. That one tool is Drush. I cannot overstate how useful Drush is. You will have to try it for yourself.

Is Drush the only reason for you to remotely access your Linux Web Server? That's reason enough! Putty minimum requirements:

  1. Putty runs on Windows. If you are on a Mac or Linux PC, you don't need it.
  2. Your Web Hosting account needs to have SSH enabled. Contact you Web Hosting Provider to get it enabled.

Downloading Putty:

  1. You will need to go to the following website: [url=http://www.putty.org]http://www.putty.org [/url]
  2. There you click on the "download Putty here" link.
  3. Go down until you find the link for the Windows Installer file.

Installing Putty:

There is nothing to it. You just follow the installation wizard and leave all the default options as they are.

Configuring a new profile in Putty:

If you manage more than one website, you can create a profile for each of your websites. Each profile can be saved and accessed later on. When creating a new profile, there are a few configuration settings that you should have in mind.
  1. At the Menu, click on "Window" and select the "Translation" option. Always make sure that the "UTF-8" option is selected for a profile created to access a Linux Web Server.
  2. Still in the same "Window" Menu option, select "Colours". At the "Select a colour to adjust:" list, click on the "ANSI Blue" option. There you will have to change the (Red, Green, Blue) from "0, 0, 187" to "113, 113, 255" respectively.
  3. Now, click on the "Connection" Menu option and select the "Data" option. At the field "Auto-login username" you should type your SSH user name. This user name will be, most likely the same user name that you use to access your website via FTP.
  4. Now you should go back to the "Session" menu option. There you should type a name for you profile at the "Saved Sessions" field.
  5. At the "Host Name (or IP address)" field you should type the IP address of your website or the domain name.
  6. You should leave the "Port" field with the default SSH port 22. Sometimes, however, the Web Server managers may change this port for security reasons. In this case, you should type the new SSH port here.
  7. Now that your profile is fully configured you will need to save it. Just click on the "Save" button.
The next time you open Putty, you will see your saved profile listed there. Just double click on it and type your SSH password. Your SSH password will, most likely, be the same password that you use when accessing your Web Server via FTP.

That's it.

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