PuTTY On the Go With PuTTY Portable

Slap PuTTY on a USB stick and let’s get outta here.

As I have a trip coming up within 24 hours to the Netherlands, I thought it would be a good idea to take PuTTY along with me. I only ever use my laptop when I’m traveling, but I’ve rarely ever used it for work since that’s generally reserved for my desktop. But seeing as how I’m always working these days, I thought “why not, let’s do this.” So I Googled and found a pretty cool portable app over at portableapps.com. You can grab PuTTY Portable and place it onto a USB drive or CD so that you don’t have to install PuTTY on every system you use.

It’s extremely handy and works exactly the same as its non-portable version. What’s even better is how easy it is to load your current configs and use them in your portable version. It’s not a feature of the app, but it can be done in just a couple of minutes.

So what you’ll need to do is grab a backup of PuTTY’s registry on your current system. Here’s the process on Windows:

  1. Click on the start button and type in “regedit” without the quotes. Open that up, it’s your registry editor.
  2. On the left-hand side, open HKEY_CURRENT_USER, click on Software, and then SimonTatham.
  3. On the right you’ll see (Default) with a type of REG_SZ. Select default, then click on File -> Export. Save it as putty.reg
  4. Go back to where you placed PuTTY Portable, and then toss putty.reg into the Data folder.

Now you should have your system’s PuTTY settings ready to go. If you use SSH Keys to authenticate your sessions, don’t forget to bring those along too. You’ll need to change the directory in the Auth settings, but hey, that’s not so bad. It sure beats having to manually insert all of your sessions. If you use a service like Dropbox to store your keys, you should be good right away.