Get a better font for PuTTY

PuTTY is a popular SSH client for Windows — it works great and it’s free.  Out of the box it uses the Courier font, which looks like this:

PuTTY with default Courier font

I prefer the appearance of a traditional Linux (X11) console font.  To me, it makes text much easier to read.  A few years ago I came across a nice-looking Windows version of that font that works great with PuTTY.   Observe the difference:
PuTTY with MiscFixed SC613 9-point font

If you like this better, simply download the MiscFixedSC613 font from April King and drop it into c:\windows\fonts.  When you configure PuTTY, remember that this is a 9-point font only.

While we are on the topic of PuTTY, here is another tip.  Although PuTTY has a sophisticated configuration dialog that allows storing of profiles for hosts, I’ve found that it is generally easier if I skip all that and launch it the same way I use ssh from a Linux machine.  To do this, make sure putty.exe is in your PATH, open the Run dialog and type in putty user@host, like so:

Launching PuTTY from the Run dialog.

No muss, no fuss, no empty cans.

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  1. Rodos’s avatar

    Hang on, Perl looks good in any font!

    Reply

  2. Paul Shannon’s avatar

    Outstanding post. Simple little tips, but I use putty all the time and have always preferred the linux interface to ssh.

    Thanks Eric, keep up the excellent work.

    Reply

  3. JimO’s avatar

    Personally, I prefer the Terminus font in PuTTY. It’s scalable and easy on the eyes. It’s available at http://fractal.csie.org/~eric/wiki/Terminus_font

    Reply

  4. Eric Gray’s avatar

    Rodos: That’s not Perl. You trying to start a language-war on my site? :-)

    Paul: Thanks, I appreciate the feedback.

    Reply

    1. robsku’s avatar

      Just wondering, while I write PHP too – I really would not use PHP code instead of well written Perl for simple terminal shot to show a fontz.

      -Robsku – Just another PERL hacker ;)

      Reply

      1. Rob M’s avatar

        If you don’t want to download anything and just use a decent font that Windows comes with, try the Fixedsys font.
        It’s easily readable on the default black background of putty with nice thicker letters. It’s also easy on the eyes, and since it’s a fixed font, things will line up properly in ASCII.
        Thanks for the post, as most people rarely change the defaults of putty, and it’s the little bits that make life so much better.

        Reply

      2. Michael Grant’s avatar

        I like the Leros10 font. It has all the latin-1 accents plus the euro symbol.

        http://www.cylog.org/graphics/rasterfonts.jsp

        Reply

      3. James’s avatar

        Hi Eric,

        This is just what I have been looking for because I really like this cool pirate font and want to show off to my workmates -> being the coolest / geekiest putty user (I was the first to start using colours! ;) )…..

        But how do I get putty to find the font? – I put it into C:\windows\fontrs like you said but when I start putty it is not there?

        Am I doing something wrong??

        Reply

        1. Eric Gray’s avatar

          Hmm. Should be standard Windows stuff. Check and see if the font is available in any other applications.

          Reply

        2. james’s avatar

          yeah, well the font you mentioned DOES work – the MiscFixedSC613 font, it works fine, but the dead hand treasure map pirate font that I downloaded does not. They are both ttf (true type fonts) and both show up in word when I use that. I am think there must the be specification that a font must subscribe to in order to be used on a comand line rather than in a GUI app like MS Word. Not sure what that would be though …

          Reply

          1. Eric Gray’s avatar

            I believe only fixed-width fonts are usable in PuTTY. Sounds like that may be the issue.

            Reply

          2. james’s avatar

            oops “think” should be “thinking” sorry.
            I remember when I installed slackware linux – there was a command line font config section within the setup (straight after installation) – one option was this really cool old fashioned “pirate-ish” font, but I can’t remember what it was called …

            Reply

          3. Mike’s avatar

            I’m embarassed to admit I did not know you could launch putty using the root@host switch. I reckon if you add up all the lost seconds over the last few years each time I opened the GUI and entered the host, then account, or searched the saved connection… I’d probably have a week or so of wasted time!

            nice tip – sometimes the simple ones are still the best…

            Reply

          4. Damocles’s avatar

            If you stick to the fonts that come with windows (*), I find that “Lucidia Console” is pretty good. Of couse, I’m used to Solaris, and Solaris’s old X-Windows interface, OpenWindows, many of the terminal emulation windows that came with it used some variation of Lucidia.

            I’m kind of suprised that “OCR A Extended” isn’t fixed width. There are lots of 3rd party fonts at:

            daFont

            I tend to set up each machine slightly differently. I assign a background color to a group of servers (servers owned by the same groups, servers running the same product, etc.) and then I vary the foreground color per machine (though on large groups, I may simply use one foreground color for production, another for development, etc.). It helps to keep me from typing in the wrong window. I also set the cursor color to red for Redhat Linux, green for SuSE, purple for Solaris, Blue for AIX, etc. I typically have my $TERM set to something that doesn’t assume I have a color terminal (I understand people who like say having “ls” print execubale files in one color, links in another, etc. – I just never got into that).

            Reply

          5. Bob Bagwill’s avatar

            My favorite is Consolas.

            Reply

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