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Sneak Peek: PuTTY Launcher

putty1 One of a system administrator’s must-have items in his toolbox is PuTTY. PuTTY is a small, lightweight program that is perfect for telnet and SSH connections. It doesn’t require any installation, it’s just a single EXE file and you’re good to go.

A feature of Secret Server that I personally have always found extremely useful is the launching capability that we introduced with Remote Desktop. It’s very handy for starting Remote Desktop sessions. We decided to take it a step further and extend this functionality to PuTTY.

An initial obstacle that needed to be overcome was figuring out how to make sure PuTTY was on the client’s machine. The creators of PuTTY are generous, and fortunately they allow us to distribute PuTTY with Secret Server. Since the Remote Launcher capability is a Microsoft ClickOnce application, it seemed reasonable to distribute PuTTY with our application. This would avoid the need for users having to tell our application where to look for PuTTY, or us requiring that you have it in a certain location on the machine.

putty2 However, PuTTY is 500 kilobytes, and the initial application was a mere 12 kilobytes. 500K is small in today’s high tech world, but to reduce corporate bandwidth use, we only distribute it when you need it for the first time. That means when you make your first launch of PuTTY, we’ll download the application for you from your Secret Server installation, thus not needing an outside Internet connection, but after that it’s cached so you only need to download it once.

putty3Once PuTTY is downloaded successfully, the application will automatically start already logged in at the prompt. For the first release of the PuTTY launcher, we will only support SSH.

If you want to see additional launchers built into Secret Server, make sure you stop by our forums and let us know!

— Kevin

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