PuTTY – 30 Useful Putty Commands for Beginners

By Shiva

January 15, 2018

linux commands, Putty Commands

What Is Putty?

Putty is an open source SSH client used to connect to a remote server. Putty is basically a terminal for windows based operating systems. It supports several network protocols, including SCP, SSH, Telnet, rlogin, and raw socket connection. PuTTY was originally written for Microsoft Windows, but it has been ported to various other operating systems. To work with Putty you need to know few basic Putty Commands.

Say you have a Linux Server set up.

To connect to your server from your PC you can use Putty and type simple SSH commands to perform different basic actions such as creating folders, copying them and so on.

What you will need to use Putty 

1. A Linux based server
2. Putty installed on your computer
3. The server’s IP address
4. Username
5. Password

Download Putty and save it on your desktop. You don’t have to install it just click on it and it will run out of the box.

When you open putty you will see something similar to the below image

putty dashboard

Out of all those options we are interested in well…just one and that’s the Host Name field(the IP address).

Here you need to input your own server’s IP address in order to connect to it.

Just enter the IP address making sure the connection type SSH is checked and port is 22.

Hit open. You will be presented with a black screen like this.

Putty after login with Windows server

Useful SSH Putty Commands

1) How to find out where you are, the pwd command shows you present working directory.


2) Change directory


The cd command is used to navigate into a specified directory on your server.

Example: cd /home (moves you into the home folder)

3) The same directory

cd .

Using this command you will remain in the same directory you were.

4) Move me up one directory

cd ..

Above command will navigate two steps back from current directory

5) Go to the previous directory

cd –

Above command will navigate to the previous directory.

6) Go to Home folder

cd ~

Above command will navigate to the home directory on your server.

7) Go to root

cd /

Above command will navigate to root.

How to List Directories and Contents

8) List files

usage: ls [option] [file]

Using the ls command in a folder will display all it’s content.

Example: ls /home.

Will return all content of the folder /home.

9) Show me all files in a directory

ls -a

10) Show contents with file size

ls -h

If you wish to see a directory’s contents with file sizes just type ls -h

11) How to see sub-directories recursively

ls -r

The ls -r command is used to see sub-directories recursively.

12) How to see files by file size

ls -is

13) List all folders in directory with details

ls -alh

How to Copy files/folders with Putty Commands

14) Copying a file


To copy a file just use the cp ssh command.


cp filename.php /home/filename.php

15) Copy a folder with all files

cp -r

This one is used to copy the entire folder with all it’s contents.

16) Copy and rename

cp filename.php /home/filename2.php

How to Move files to different locations

17) Moving a file


Example: mv page.php /home/page.php

18) Move and rename

mv page.php /home/newpage.php

19) Move file up one directory

mv filename ..

example: mv index.html/ ..

How to Create files/folders using Putty Commands

20) Create a folder


example: mkdir new-folder

21) Create a file


Use the touch command to create different files and file extensions

Example: touch index.php

How to Compress/Uncompress files?

22) Compressing folders

zip -r foldername.zip foldername

Example: zip -r newfolder.zip newfolder

23) uncompressing folders


Example: unzip newfolder.zip

24) Compressing folders using tar -czvf

tar -czvf foldername.tar.gz foldername

Example: tar -czvf wp-content.tar.gz wp-content

25) uncompressing folders using tar -czvf

tar -xvf foldername.tar.gz

Example: tar -xvf wp-content.tar.gz

How to Delete/Remove files?

26) Delete a file


To delete a file on your server just use the rm command.

Example: rm index.php

27) Delete all files from a directory

rm *

This command is used to delete all contents from a directory.

Example: rm * foldername

28) Delete a folder/directory


Use this command to remove directories.

How to change File permissions?

29) Change file permissions


Example: chmod 775 newfolder

30) Change permissions of folder and all files inside

chmod 755 folder name -R

Thanks for reading our article and we will keep updating the same articles with more useful commands in coming days. Keep checking this space for more Putty commands.

You can download PuTTY from the below URL


You can also check other Linux commands from the below articles box.

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