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KiTTY is a free open source SSH client for Windows. It is a fork of PuTTY providing many additional features, such as built-in session launcher, built-in key generator, login scripting, clickable terminal URLs, simple GUI text-editor that can send to screen, plus all the regular features of an ssh clients such and tunnels and SOCKS support. However, the user interface is densely pack with options and takes some getting used to.

Using KiTTY


KiTTY comes in two versions, standard Windows install and a stand alone USB portable executable. The USB portable version is useful when travelling since you can carry all your session profiles easily between computers.

Creating a basic session is pretty easy. Enter a hostname or IP address, change the default port number if necessary, assign it a profile name, click Save, then click Open to open that profile. You'll be prompted for login credentials every time. Simply perform steps 1 to 4, 10, and 11 as show left.

However, if you want take advantage of saving your login name and using a private key, then follow all the steps illustrated here. Note that step 9, select the path to where you saved your generated private/public keys (see below). Note that while private/public key encryption is wiser (steps 8 and 9), it is possible instead to save your account password, near step 7 fill in the field "Auto-login password" and skip 8 and 9.

If you use KiTTY often, while the program is running right-click on its taskbar icon and select "Pin this program to taskbar".


Generating a public/private key with KiTTY

KiTTY comes with a built-in key generator, but its not obvious how to invoke it.

  • The easiest way is to copy and paste the KiTTY desktop shortcut back to the desktop, so that you have KiTTY - Copy.
  • Then 'Right-Click on the copy, select Properties from the context menu.
  • Modify the short cut to add the -keygen option and rename the shortcut.
  • Double-click the KiTTY Keygen shortcut.
  • Click Generate, move the mouse around to help generate random data.
  • Click Save Public Key
  • Click Save Private Key

You now have a private/public key pair. Use the public key file to setup remote ssh accounts.

Setting Up Remote SSH Account

Some system administrators will ask for an ssh public key so they can prepare a shell account already setup with your public key. Others will simply create a password protected shell account and leave you to setup private/public key access. For the latter first login using KiTTY and username/password to authenticate; then perform the steps given by "Using ssh with a public/private key" to setup your .ssh directory. Subsequently:

  1. $ cd .ssh
  2. $ cat >
  3. Shift+F12 opens KiTTY's editor.
  4. File > Open > public key file
  5. Ctrl+A select all the text, F12 to send the selection to cat.
  6. Select the terminal screen and Ctrl+D to end input.
  7. ssh-keygen -i -f >>authorized_keys
    Converts the KiTTY format to one used by OpenSSH and appends to authorized_keys file used to keep all the public keys used to access this account..
  8. Click the computers icon in the top right corner of the KiTTY tittle bar and select Duplicate Session. You should log directly in, unless your private key is passphase protected.


  • kitty : Free, open source ssh and telnet client for Windows based on putty.
  • putty : Free, open source ssh and telnet client for Windows.
  • UltraVNC : Free Virtual Network Connection server and client software for Windows.