Setting up Putty for Linux

I use Putty a lot to access my Linux server and whenever the Windows operating system gets changed I have to go through the settings to make sure Putty is usable, especially when using Midnight Commander (mc command). With the wrong settings the display is awful.

Improving Putty settings on Windows

(Based on an article from, viewed 7-12-2012)

Essential Settings

All settings are done by right clicking on the Putty window and selecting Change Settings. On the left is a column titled Category, and below is a tree of sub headings.

The first four settings will have mc displaying nicely. The others can be set to taste.

Font Settings Lucinda 9pt
Gap between text and window edge 3
Window->Translation Remote Character set UTF-8
Handling of drawing characters Use unicode
(much nicer!)
Window->Selection Action of mouse buttons Windows
Formatting of pasted characters Check Paste to Clipboard…
Window->Colours General options for colour usage Use system colours
Terminal->Bell Action to happen when a bell occurs Select Visual bell
Window Lines of scrollback 2000
Control the scrollback in the window Check Reset scrollback on keypress
Uncheck Reset scrollback on display activity

Screen Colours

Another problem arose when I needed help on a command. The screen colours have changed for the “man” command. The parameters are listed in BOLD and if the colours are using the default you won’t see them. I set normal text to a dark grey and bold to black.

But a lot of dark grey text is a bit hard to read so I will try using a different background. Try different colours and find a combination that suits you.

Configure your Putty first, then save.

After making changes Click Apply.

Then go back to the settings window. Do not select anything from the category tree. Type in a new session name, or select on that’s been saved before and click Save to keep your changes.

For a new lot of settings type in a new name and click Save. The new session will appear in the list.

Adding a new host

These settings store the host address too. To create a new connection start a new session, Load the saved settings and then change the host address (and others if needed). Type in a new name and then click Save. Your new session has been saved for next time.

More Information

This is a cut down version, for more information refer to the link at the top of the article.

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