The 14 best free PuTTY alternatives for Mac OS

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Philippe Gloaguen

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While switching from Windows to Mac OS is a nice experience, you'll miss the PuTTY system on Mac if you're used to using it on Windows. Whether you are a sysadmin or a website owner, it is a common application that most of us have used at least once in our life.

PuTTY is a free terminal emulator that helps you transfer files on the same network by registering from another computer. It can also be accessed via the Internet. You can secure the file transfer function by adding SCP and SFTP. Security is PuTTY's main concern, but you can add verification and encryption by using it in conjunction with SSH. This helps secure connections on the Internet.

While many dedicated users still prefer to use PuTTY, it can be difficult for those who have recently switched to Mac. So here's a short list of some of the best PuTTY alternatives for Mac OS that we think can make your life easier.

It is the default terminal emulator built into the Mac operating system. It is a wonderful tool that helps to decompose in the command line. So when you are connected to multiple servers, you will easily be able to identify the special background colors and window titles mentioned in the profiles. You can use the profiles built into the Terminal or even create your own custom profiles.

Just press Command and Spacebar and search for Terminal in Spotlight. Now, just type ssh [email protected] to connect to the server.

It also lets you add bookmarks while working which can be used to quickly maneuver through the extended Terminal window. The best part is that the inspector helps you visualize and control the processes in progress and even lets you adjust the window titles and background colors.

Price: free

iTerm is one of the best PuTTY alternatives for MacOS that comes loaded with features. It offers solutions for any wishes that a terminal user may have thought of. Among its main attractions is the possibility of dividing a tab into several windows, each of which presents a different session. Whether you choose to split it vertically or horizontally, it allows you to generate infinite boxes in every possible alignment.

By registering a hotkey, you can bring your software to the fore when working from another program. Just press a button and the terminal opens. You can get a terminal always available by setting the hotkey to open a dedicated pane. In addition, it comes with powerful search capabilities, while the interface remains distant. As soon as you enter your search term, matches are immediately highlighted.

Autocomplete is another feature where as you type the first letter of any word you may have used previously, followed by “Cmd” and the word appears at the top of the list. Find the option to search for text, paste history to double check the last copied or pasted text or instant replay to travel back in time are some of its other significant features.

Price: free

ZOC is compatible with both Windows and Mac, making it universally usable. This terminal emulator is freeware that offers a splendid list of robust emulations and features. These features make it a reliable and classy tool that connects you to hosts and mainframes. It connects you through different modes like telnet, secure shell and more.

It boasts an advanced interface that features a tabbed session with thumbnails. Offers an address book containing folders and hosts (color coded). It can be easily customized according to your choices and needs. Support for a scripting language with over 200 commands, a huge number of registrations, user-defined buttons or full keyboard remapping capabilities are some of the main features.

Price: free

If you are looking for a free PuTTY alternative to Mac OS, then vSSH Lite might be the solution. It is a highly customizable modern SSH and Telnet client. It comes with an enlarged keyboard, touch screen gestures, sync for iCloud, and more. It offers one of the fastest terminal exits, comes with SSH and Telnet protocols, offers username / password and private key verification options, ability to swipe the touchscreen or use arrows, and multiple sessions.

Among its other main features are background work up to 3 minutes for iOS7 and up to 10 minutes for iOS 5/6, notifications in case of timeout, connections for iCloud / Dropbox, sharing of macros and keys, forwarding options. of keys and doors, and so on.

Price: free

Hyper is another free and open source software for Mac that works as a great alternative to PuTTY. It is also compatible with other major platforms. The project intends to create a pleasant and extensible experience for those who use a command line interface developed on open web models.

The software aims to focus primarily on speed, consistency and accurate API creation for extension creators. Overall, the program can be expanded with add-ons, but with no choice for file transfer or encryption.

Price: free and open source

Shuttle for Mac is a simple and straightforward context menu application for OS X. All you have to do is launch the app and select the option that says “Configure to edit ~ / .shuttle.json”. Now, describe the items on the menu and the actions that start to work when clicked.

Price: free

A free and open source terminal emulator for Mac OS, OpenSSH is also available for other platforms. It is a leading connectivity software used to log in from a remote system with the SSH client. Encrypt all traffic to remove any possibility of spying, connection hijacking and other malware attacks. In addition, it also offers an extended range of secure tunneling capabilities, multiple verification techniques, and elegant configuration choices.

The program comes with tools like ssh, scp and sftp for remote functions, ssh-add, ssh-keysign, ssh-keyscan and ssh-keygen for key management and sshd, sftp-server and ssh-agent as an option service .

Price: free

If you are looking for a PuTTY alternative for Mac that offers easy and secure access to remote computers, Royal TSX may be your best bet. It helps you to manage your computers remotely on different platforms at the same time. Whether you are a systems engineer, IT professional, developer or systems administrator, the tool is perfect for your needs.

It also offers credential management assistance and comes with a tabbed interface for convenience. It simply indicates the name of the credential to allocate a credential to connections. This helps you share a file that only has connections with your personal testimonials saved in a confidential file, locked with a passcode.

It features a simple and fully customizable user interface. In addition, it can manage files accessed by several users at the same time, allowing you to integrate file changes without a SQL database backend. It can also sync with LastPass and KeePass which allow you to open documents. It also allows you to open the credentials to use as normal credentials for the software.

Price: Free trial available; the pro version starts at € 39,00

For those looking for one of the best PuTTY alternatives for Mac, Chrome Secure Shell is the right choice.It is a terminal emulator and SSH client designed for Chrome. It is compatible with x-term which uses the built-in client to immediately connect to SSH servers without the need for external proxies.

Price: free

If you are looking for a broad command line option, Termius may be the best option for you. This tool goes far beyond a simple SSH client as it reviews remote access for network engineers and system administrators. It allows you to securely access Linux or IoT-based devices and troubleshoot problems much faster and more cost-effectively.

This free application offers an attractive and handmade interface for all major platforms. There are no distracting ads. Plus, it pairs its servers and credentials for fast login. While it helps create groups to explain shared themes and settings, it also marks systems to keep them organized.

It features 10 colorful themes and fonts that can be changed. It also allows you to create multiple connections to the same host or connect to different hosts. It is also possible to encrypt almost all services and connections using port forwarding and tunneling.

Price: free

Kitty Terminal can easily be considered among the best PuTTY alternatives for Mac OS as it is a robust, cross-platform and GPU-supported terminal emulator. The program passes the description to the GPU and runs OpenGL for fast, cross-platform performance. Includes native tiling projects along with support for visual, Unicode, and ligatures.

Provides support for all advanced terminal features such as images, true colors, mouse protocol, and more. It also supports tiling several terminal windows side by side in multiple templates and does not require the use of tmux. Most importantly, it can be handled from the shell prompt or from scripts. The program can be extended using the Kittens framework which helps build small terminal programs.

It also provides startup session support that allows you to fix a project, active directories, and apps to start at startup. Furthermore, it also lets you initiate the scroll back option in a single window using random apps.

Price: free and open source

SecureCRT offers a powerful terminal emulation function for those who work in the computer field. While it helps increase productivity with modern session control, it also sets up many methods to save time and simplify mundane tasks. It offers secure remote access, file transfer functionality, and data tunneling option for all employees in the organization.

In addition, it comes with preset color schemes, which include the Solarized scheme, which makes it easy to transform the look of the terminal workstation. You have the freedom to choose between different mixes of light and dark colors with matching foreground, background and ANSI tones.

Price: Free trial available; the pro version starts at $ 59,95

Codinn SSH Proxy helps turn any remote server (SSH) into SOCKS v5 proxy, which is responsive and intuitive. Stores the history of SSH credentials and private key passcode and saves it in the OS X keychain. What's more? It can even automatically reconnect you when your Mac wakes you from sleep.

Among its main features are the option to auto-start when Mac OS X starts, the option to share the SOCKS v5 proxy over LAN, quick switching between multiple SSH accounts, creating a whitelist and more.

Price upon request

While there are many PuTTY alternatives for Windows, there aren't many options for Mac OS. However, the ones we have listed are good enough to meet your needs. Since Mac OS already comes with its own native SSH client, chances are you don't need external support. But those who are looking for additional features, can try any of the apps listed above in the best PuTTY alternative for Mac OS.


DTerm is another great context-based alternative to PuTTY for MacOS. This command line works at the touch of a button. Synchronize the command line process into the user's regular workflow and improve productivity while removing any clutter from the screen. In short, it simplifies the entire workflow by eliminating the tedious process of operating as a single window in a single application.

As you search for information, the software queries the window for the path to its logs (at the front end), while entering a command line that uses a suitable active directory. It also allows you to easily add log files to the command. It also allows you to copy the results of commands to the clipboard and release the software with a single touch of a keyboard.

The software helps to reduce the entire operational command workflow to a random working directory and to copy the results for later use. It reduces the whole process to just three simple keystrokes.

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