June 10, 2010

302 words 2 mins read

Backing up/Migrating PuTTY

If you regularly use SSH/Telnet from Windows, you probably use PuTTY.  If you don’t use PuTTY, you either should, or your paying too much.  Anyways, if you use it a fair amount you probably have saved sessions.  While PuTTY doesn’t have an internal mechanism for backing up these settings, it turns out it is very easy.  All the settings are stored in the registry.  There are two easy methods if you want to back them up (which is always good to do).  Afterward you can reload them onto another machine, should you need/desire to do so:

**Command Line Method — Save


  • Start > Run > cmd
  • reg save HKCU\Software\SimonTatham putty.hiv

That’s it, Of course “putty.hiv” can be any file name, or location.  You want to keep the .hiv though because this is not the same as .reg files.

Command Line Method — Load

  • Start > Run > cmd
  • reg load HKCU\Software\SimonTatham putty.hiv

Once again remember that putty.hiv is whatever you named it.

That’s all nice and fine, but it is a bit complicated and trying to remember it could be problematic, here’s an alternate method.

Registry Editor (GUI) Method — Save

  • Start > Run> regedt32
  • Click File > Export
  • Change “Export Range” to “Selected branch” and enter HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SimonTatham
  • Enter you file name (.reg) & location, click save.

Registry Editor (GUI) Method — Load

  • Just double click the .reg file you created previously.

Personally, I use the Registry Editor.  But if you wanted to create an automated backup batch script, the command line is obviously more useful.  If you’re going to transfer these settings to a new machine, generally I make sure to install putty first, then load the registry backup.  Remember, always be careful when messing about in your registry, you can completely destroy your computer if you’re not paying attention.