PuTTY for Homer users

Last updated: October 7, 2019

These instructions are provided for University of Washington users who want to install and configure PuTTY, and use it to access the “Homer” Linux server (and Alpine which is commonly used there.)  For more general information about PuTTY, see the IT Connect PuTTY Software page.

PuTTY is not available for Macintosh users; they may use the Mac Terminal program for connections to Homer.

How to download and install PuTTY on Windows

  1. StepsActions
  2. On the Windows computer where you want to install PuTTY, open a Web browser
  3. In your web browser go to this location:
    That will open the “PuTTY Download Page.”
  4. On the PuTTY Download Page, in the “Binaries” section (with the green background) locate the lines
    A Windows MSI installer package for everything except PuTTYtel
    Installer:   putty-0.67-installer.msi (or by FTP) (signature)
  5. Click on “putty-0.67-installer.msi”  Note that your browser will download the file.
  6. Open the file you just downloaded (putty-0.67-installer.msi.) Your browser should provide a way to do that, or you may need to look in your downloads folder.
  7. You will see a security warning. Click “Run.”
  8. You will see the PuTTY Setup Wizard.  Click “Next.”
  9. You’ll be prompted about the place to install PuTTY.  Accept the default.  Click “Next.”
  10. You’ll see a Setup window with a list of Product Features.  Choose (click on) “Add shortcut to PuTTY to the Desktop.”
  11. Click “Install.”
  12. You’ll be prompted about allowing the installation program to run.  Click “Yes.”
  13. You should see that the installation has finished.  Click “Finish.”

You should see a PuTTY – Shortcut icon on your desktop.  That concludes the installation.

How to use PuTTY to connect to Homer

  1. StepsActions
  2. Double-click the PuTTY icon that’s on your desktop
  3. In the PuTTY Configuration screen find the “Host Name” field and enter
  4. Make no other changes.
  5. Click “Open.”
  6. The first time you do this, you will see a PuTTY Security Alert because PuTTY has not connected to Homer before. You should click “Yes.”
  7. You’ll see a new window with “log in:” as the prompt.  Enter your UW NetID.  Press the Enter key.
  8. You’ll see a “Password:” prompt.  Enter your UW NetID password. Press the Enter key.

You should then have an open session to Homer where you can choose options on the screen or enter commands.

How to end your Homer session and exit PuTTY

  1. StepsActions
  2. Use Homer commands to “Logout” at the Main menu, or “exit” at a shell prompt, or
  3. Press the “Alt-F4” keys, or
  4. Click the “X” in the upper-right corner of the PuTTY window

How to make your desktop PuTTY icon open Homer automatically

  1. StepsActions
  2. Double-click the PuTTY icon on your desktop
  3. In the PuTTY Configuration window’s Host Name field enter your NetID and the host name, like this (substitute in your own UW NetID) :
  4. In the same window enter in the Saved Sessions field:
  5. Click “Save.”  You should see “Homer” listed in the Saved Sessions field after “Default Settings.”
  6. Click “Cancel” to close the PuTTY Configuration window.
  7. Right-click the PuTTY icon on your desktop
  8. Click “Properties”
  9. Click the Shortcut tab if not selected
  10. Add to the Target (after the quotes)
    -load Homer
    The Shortcut Target should now look like this:
    “C:\Program Files (x86)\PuTTY\putty.exe” -load Homer
  11. click “Okay”

Now double-click the PuTTY desktop icon and you will find a window with an open session to Homer and a prompt for your UW NetID password.