PuTTY - connecting to a Linux computer

 You can establish an encrypted connection to a Linux computer with the PuTTY program.

  • PuTTYcan is installed on Windows computers under the university’s centralized maintenance via the Software Center.

You will need a separate program for transferring files between a local computer and a Linux computer, such as WinSCP. PuTTY is a text-based command-line program. For graphic work on Linux computers, you will need a separate program, such as Xming.

Establishing a connection

  • Launch the programme from the Windows Start menu: Start > All Programs > PuTTY > PUTTY.

  • The first time, the anti-virus program can warn you about the program. Allow use of the program by clicking Allow.

  • Enter the name of a Linux server in Host Name (or IP address) (for example, markka.it.Helsinki.fi).
  • For other options, you should use the default values:
    • Port: 22
    • Protocol: SSH

  • After entering the information, click Open.

  • Next, you will log into the Linux computer. Enter your username in login and press Enter.
  • In PuTTY, the background color of the Linux command line is black and the text is white. Many people prefer white as the background color and black as the text color. There are separate instructions (in Finnish) for changing the settings >>

After the username, type your password. The password you type is not displayed in any way in the window. Press Enter.

After successful login, you have established a connection to the Linux computer.


  • To disconnect, use the exit command. This also closes the PuTTY window.