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Difference between PuTTY and Cygwin

Difference between PuTTY and Cygwin

In this blog post, we will discuss the key differences between PuTTY and Cygwin. Both of these programs have their pros and cons, so it is important to understand which one is right for your needs. We will also provide some tips on how to use each program. Let’s get started!

What is PuTTY?

PuTTY is a free and open-source terminal emulator, serial console, and network file transfer application. It supports several network protocols, including SCP, SSH, Telnet, login, and raw socket connection.

  • PuTTY was originally developed for the Microsoft Windows platform but it has since been ported to other operating systems such as Unix, Linux, macOS, and BSD.
  • PuTTY is one of the most popular and widely used SSH clients. PuTTY is also used to connect to remote serial consoles to perform configuration or troubleshooting tasks.
  • PuTTY uses RSA or DSA public-key encryption for authentication and uses 256-bit AES encryption for data transport. PuTTY can be used to connect to a wide variety of devices including routers, switches, firewalls, servers, workstations, and embedded systems. PuTTY is a free software project released under the MIT License. PuTTY was created by Simon Tatham in 1997.

What is Cygwin?

Cygwin is a popular software package that provides a Unix-like environment for Microsoft Windows operating systems. It consists of a set of tools that allow users to natively run Linux applications on Windows.

  • Cygwin is free and open-source software, released under the GNU General Public License. Cygwin’s project coordinator is Cygnus Solutions, which was later acquired by Red Hat.
  • Cygwin is popular among developers who need to work with both Windows and Unix systems, as it provides a convenient way to do so without having to dual-boot or use a virtual machine.
  • Cygwin also has its own development tools, such as GCC, make, and gdb. These can be used to compile and debug Cygwin-specific programs, or programs that are designed to be portable across Unix-like systems.

In recent years, Cygwin has been overshadowed by other solutions such as Microsoft’s Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), which provides more complete Linux compatibility. However, Cygwin remains a popular tool for many developers due to its ease of installation and use.

Difference between PuTTY and Cygwin

  • PuTTY and Cygwin are both software that allows users to connect to a remote computer. PuTTY is a free and open-source application that can be used on Windows, Linux, and macOS.
  • Cygwin is also a free and open-source application, but it is only available for Windows. Both PuTTY and Cygwin provide a command-line interface (CLI) that allows users to enter text-based commands to remotely access another computer.
  • However, PuTTY does not include all of the Unix-based command line tools that are available in Cygwin. For example, PuTTY does not include the grep command, which is used to search for text within a file. As a result, PuTTY is less useful for Unix-based systems, while Cygwin is more versatile for both Unix-based and Windows systems.


Cygwin is a much more comprehensive package that includes an SSH client and many other features. If you are looking for a powerful SSH client, PuTTY is the best option. However, if you need a more comprehensive set of tools, Cygwin is the better choice.

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