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Installing PuTTY

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PuTTY can be used to remotely login to Informatics machines and servers from anywhere on the internet using SSH. We strongly recommend that you install Kerberos and use kerberos authentication instead of keyboard-interactive by setting up Putty to use your Kerberos credentials.

Download PuTTY

Putty Download Page

The easiest option is to just save putty.exe on its own to a location of your choice, though there is also a Windows installer package.

Setting up PuTTY to work with Kerberos

To start off, run the PuTTY executable, and then enter one of the following into the Host Name box. Put whatever you want the connection to be called in the Saved Sessions box, though we’d recommend keeping it the same as the Host Name.

  • student.ssh.inf.ed.ac.uk for taught students
  • staff.ssh.inf.ed.ac.uk for staff and research students

Leave the remaining options as-is for now.

From the menu on the left, select Data under Connection. If you are the only user of your machine, enter your DICE username in the Auto-login username box. If the user account on your machine is used by multiple people, it’s best to leave this box blank.

Again from the Category box, expand the SSH group, then the Auth group and finally select GSSAPI. In this window, tick the “Allow GSSAPI credential delegation” box.

Then, click Browse and select the gssapi32.dll of your Kerberos installation. On 32-bit systems this will normally be C:\Program Files\Heimdal\bin\gssapi32.dll. On 64-bit Windows, this file will normally be C:\Program Files (x86)\Heimdal\bin\gssapi32.dll. Finally, select the User-specified GSSAPI DLL entry in the Preference order box and then click Up twice so it is top of the list:

If you want to use X11 forwarding (i.e. running graphical X window applications remotely), navigate down to the X11 entry under SSH, select the Enable X11 forwarding checkbox and enter localhost:0 for X display location. You will need to have an X11 server installed on your local computer first such as Xming X Server.

If you want to use port-forwarding and tunnelling, e.g. for remote VNC access, navigate to the Tunnels page under SSH and enter the ports as required (the following is only an example):

Finally, navigate back to the Session page and click Save:

From now on, when you start PuTTY, you can just double-click your connection entry in the Saved Sessions list to automatically connect, authenticate, and open a terminal session, without you having to type your username and password each time.

Note that if you haven’t already authenticated via Kerberos you’ll be asked to enter your Kerberos credentials the first time you run PuTTY after you start your computer.

Last reviewed: 
22/09/2016

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