For some of you, PuTTY is a major staple in a typical IT connectivity kit. It allows anyone to log in and interact with a remote resource over Telnet, SSH, Rlogin, and Serial connections. ExtraPuTTY, a fork of PuTTY created by Sebastien Blavier, aims to build on the already solid feature set of PuTTY with relatively subtle but useful additions. Blavier offers his software for free in both an installer and portable form for Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and 7.
At first glance, there is an immediate difference with how the application presents itself. ExtraPuTTY displays an always-on-top session manager dialog box, which contains all your saved session links. In order to add new ones to the list, simply double-click the Default Settings listing to bring up the configuration window. From here you can create your remote connection by adding the necessary details. You can also change how the environment will appear on your screen by adjusting the display font, colors, and window behavior.
A few other things that set ExtraPuTTY apart from regular PuTTY is in the session handling aspects. When you fire up any session with the default settings, you get a nifty commands shortcut window where you can store frequently used commands, including full on key-combos, for easy access.
ExtraPuTTY also has a full-screen mode at start feature, which allows anyone to effectively turn any remote session into a nifty "kiosk" mode that fills the screen with nothing but the contents of the remote connection. This can be useful for certain business settings when perhaps you want to hide the Windows UI away from folks while doing work. Certainly, PuTTY can display full-screen sessions as well, but not when you first start the application. ZModem support, binary compression, lua scripting, and TestStand API are a few other features ExtraPuTTY provides.
ExtraPuTTY does really take the cake with its extra tweaks and additions to the original application it spawned from. I would heartily recommend IT gurus give this program a spin and support the author for his efforts. ExtraPuTTY aims to make remote system access and administration an easy and rich experience for Windows users who lack some of the built-in tools like SSH and rlogin that UNIX users currently enjoy.
An avid technology writer and an IT guru, Matthew is here to help bring the best in software, hardware and the web to the collective consciousness of TechRepublic's readership. In addition to writing for TechRepublic, Matthew currently works as a Customer Success Professional for Ultimate Software in Santa Ana, California.