How to change PuTTY’s appearance

PuTTY Enhanced series

11. How to change PuTTY’s appearance

If you’re going to be using PuTTY a lot, you’ll probably want to customize its appearance to what you like best. PuTTY has a number of settings that allow you to do this

1) Once you have PuTTY open, load a session from the menu

2) Then, go to Appearance

The first settings here allow you to adjust the cursor’s appearance

3) The default is Block, but you can change it to one of the other two, if you want. We’ll pick Vertical line

4) Click this checkbox to make the cursor blink

5) Now, for the Font settings

6) Click Change…

7) Select a new font from the list. Only monospaced fonts will show up; these are fonts whose characters are all the same width

8) Change its style, or just leave it set to Regular

9) Adjust the size to something a bit bigger

10) Then, click OK

Notice… the font name and size listed here has changed

11) Mark this checkbox to hide the mouse pointer when typing

12) Last on this page, you can adjust the appearance of the window border. Use this value to control the size of the Gap between text and window edge

13) To display a sunken edge border, click this checkbox

14) Now, go to Colours

Let’s change the background and foreground colors

15) Hit Modify

16) Choose a Basic color, or pick a custom color using the tool at right. Let’s use white

17) Click OK

18) Now, for the Foreground color

19) We’ll pick Black for this

Feel free to change any other colors you want

20) Now, return to the Session page

21) Save our changes to the session

22) Then, press Open

You should notice that this looks quite a bit different than it does with the default settings

That cursor color is a little bright on a white background. You can change it with the Colours settings, where we just were

23) Log in

24) Test out a command

That’s it! You now know how to change PuTTY’s appearance

How to increase the scroll buffer size in PuTTY

PuTTY Enhanced series

10. How to increase the scroll buffer size in PuTTY

You may have noticed that PuTTY does not allow you to scroll up very far

This can become annoying when running programs that have lots of output you might need to scroll through and review

Let’s look at an example

We have already logged in to one of our saved SSH sessions

One command that can sometimes produce a lot of output is ls — the command to list a directory’s contents

1) Type ls -l / to list the contents of the root directory. Remember — press Enter to execute a shell command

2) Now, type the command shown to list the contents of all directories contained by the home directory

3) Scroll up

Here is the command we just typed

Above that, the output of the previous command

4) Scroll up a bit more

As you can see, we’ve reached the top of the scrollbar, and still can’t see the first command we typed; it’s just barely out of range

5) Let’s increase the size of the scroll buffer. Close this session and re-open PuTTY to the configuration window

6) Select the session from the list, then click Load

7) Then, go to Window

8) Enter a higher value for Lines of scrollback. We’ll change ours from 200 to 20000

9) Return to the Session category

10) Click Save

11) Finally, press Open

12) Now, log in normally, as seen earlier in this series

Once logged in, let’s test out the new scroll buffer size

13) Type the command from before, several times. End each line with a shell comment as shown, thus marking each one

Watch the size of the scrollbar

14) Now, scroll up

Here’s the first command. Clearly, our change worked!

This is the end of the tutorial. You now know how to increase the scroll buffer size in PuTTY