Windows

Review: ExtraPuTTY remote access and admin tool

ExtraPuTTY aims to make remote system access and administration an easy and rich experience for Windows users.

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.

Extra

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.

Bottom line

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.

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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 Cus...

6 comments
cgkomeshak
cgkomeshak

From ExtraPuTTY web site: "ExtraPuTTY new release May-9-2012 The merge with the Putty 0.62 is in progress and will be available in 2 weeks."

mktg27
mktg27

If you are looking for a complete tool to manage remote access, check out http://remotedesktopmanager.com by Devolutions. Easy-to-use and low-cost solution to save you time and simplify your life as an IT administrator or network executive.

kbb2
kbb2

The version of Putty this ships with is .60 - current version is .62 - see below from the Putty site. Am I missing something here? These features are new in beta 0.62 (released 2011-12-10): Security fix: PuTTY no longer retains passwords in memory by mistake. Bug fix: Pageant now talks to both new-style clients (0.61 and above) and old-style (0.60 and below). Bug fix: PuTTY no longer prints a spurious "Access denied" message when GSSAPI authentication fails. Bug fix: PSCP and PSFTP now honour nonstandard port numbers in SSH saved sessions. Bug fix: Pageant no longer leaks a file handle when an authentication fails. Bug fix: PuTTYtel no longer crashes when saving a session. Bug fix: PuTTY now draws underlines under the underlined text instead of sometimes putting them somewhere off to the right. Bug fix: PuTTY now should not draw VT100 line drawing characters at the wrong vertical offset. These features were new in beta 0.61 (released 2011-07-12): Kerberos/GSSAPI authentication in SSH-2. Local X11 authorisation support on Windows. (Unix already had it, of course.) Support for non-fixed-width fonts on Windows. GTK 2 support on Unix. Specifying the logical host name independently of the physical network address to connect to. Crypto and flow control optimisations. Support for the zlib@openssh.com SSH-2 compression method. Support for new Windows 7 UI features: Aero resizing and jump lists. Support for OpenSSH AES-encrypted private key files in PuTTYgen. Bug fix: handles OpenSSH private keys with primes in either order. Bug fix: corruption of port forwarding is fixed (we think). Bug fix: various crashes and hangs when exiting on failure. Bug fix: hang in the serial back end on Windows. Bug fix: Windows clipboard is now read asynchronously, in case of deadlock due to the clipboard owner being at the far end of the same PuTTY's network connection (either via X forwarding or via tunnelled rdesktop). These features were new in beta 0.60 (released 2007-04-29): ...

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Do you use PuTTY on a regular basis? Have you tried ExtraPuTTY? How do they compare? Can you suggest a better tool?

Matt Nawrocki
Matt Nawrocki

The author got back to me and said an update to PuTTY 0.62's code was in the works and should be out imminently.

Matt Nawrocki
Matt Nawrocki

Though I believe most of these fixes were countered by the dev with the fork, despite it being based on 0.60. That is a very good point you raise however and I should probably ask the author about this.