Migrate PuTTY sessions between computers

PuTTY is one of the first programs, that I install on every computer. Since, it stores sessions in registry, it is a bit difficult to migrate sessions between computers. So far, I manage to do this with a little bit help of regedit.exe program and guides like this one. Today, unfortunately, I hit the wall, when my brand new installed Windows 7 told me, that it can’t merge entries from my putty.reg file, because it can’t access Windows Registry.

When using File > Export in Registry Editor, I tried both normal (actual) version of .reg file and compatibility one (“old” Windows NT/95 version). No effect. I googled for a 30 seconds and found out a piece of software called PuTTY Session Manager (PSM) (here you have a direct link to version 0.50, the latest one available as of writing this).

You can use it to export PuTTy’s sessions to a .cvs or .reg file. First option isn’t best idea, because it only drops sessions’ names and hosts, without any specific options. You can consider it only, if you run on default set of options, when using PuTTY. Second option is far better, as it drops everything. And it works — generated .reg file can be merged where the one from Registry Editor failed.

I actually don’t know, what is so special about files generated by PuTTY Session Manager, that are acceptable, while other don’t. And I actually don’t know, what is the reason behind implementing export function, while there is no import option (or I didn’t found one in PSM). But the key is, that with this program, you can migrate PuTTY’s session, when other methods fails.

With PuTTY Session Manager you can do quite a lot of more than just migrating session. Follow PSM’s website for more details.

Also, keep in mind, that PSM requires PuTTY’s to be installed on your computer (you must specify path to it, if it is not discovered automagically). But, only for those extra things PuTTY Session Manager gives you. If you only intend to use if solely for session migration purpose, you may safely ignore warning about missing PuTTY, because PuTTY’s sessions are stored in Windows Registry, not in program’s folder.

Leave a Reply