Handling multiple Telnet/SSH sessions in Windows

Published February 6th, 2008

I use SSH quite a lot in my line of work (via PuTTY) to connect to our dev and production servers, view logs, do minor admin tasks and such. The distributed nature of our system means that I often find myself having to do the same thing on multiple servers, meaning lots of repetitive typing.

I envied our sysadmin, who runs a Linux desktop and can use ClusterSSH (CSSH) — a cunning little utility that acts as a proxy command line for multiple SSH windows. But until today, it didn’t even occur to me to look for a Windows equivalent. Which was pretty stupid, because I could’ve saved myself a lot of typing over the years if I’d made the effort and found PuTTYCS sooner.

PuttyCS does nothing on its own, but if you run a bunch of Putty clients, you can use it to send commands to them (and other stuff, like arrange/tile them neatly on the screen). You can even set up ‘filters’ which allow you to select only certain windows (based on their window title, which can be set using the Window > Behaviour > Window title option).

Update: today I found PuTTY Connection Manager, which gives a tabbed (MDI) interface to PuTTY. It’s in its early stages at the moment so doesn’t really do a lot more than that, but I could see it becoming the ideal environment for working with SSH — particularly if it were to combine some of the single command, multi-window functionality of CSSH/PuTTYCS.

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  1. Adam Dempsey on February 7, 2008

    I often have a few PuTTY sessions running so the tabbed interface looks like it will be useful, thanks :)

  2. Gabe on March 8, 2008

    Putty connection manager is really neat. thanks for the tip!

  3. Gabe on March 8, 2008

    btw: theres a few php errors when you post a comment.

  4. Peter on October 26, 2008

    Actually, PuTTY Connection Manager already has the single-command, multi-window functionality mentioned. You simply arrange the tabs around by dragging them so that multiple are visible, and then use the “Command” bar at the top of the window.

  5. Reddy Gurram on May 5, 2010

    Onem more Windows equivalent ClusterSSH is clusterShiSH

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