Comparison of SSH clients

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For more details on this topic, see Secure shell.

An SSH client is a software program which uses the secure shell protocol to connect to a remote computer. This article compares a selection of notable clients.

General[edit]

Name Developer Status First release Latest release Based on License Source available
AbsoluteTelnet Celestial Software (Brian Pence) Active 1996 2012-11-25

9.53

Proprietary No
Bitvise SSH Client/Tunnelier Bitvise Active May 2002 2014-09-08

6.08[1]

Proprietary No
ConnectBot Kenny Root / Jeffrey Sharkey Active November 2007 2010-10-08

1.7.1

Apache Yes
DameWare SolarWinds Active November 28, 2012 Proprietary No
Dropbear Matt Johnston Active April 6, 2003 2014-02-19

2014.63

MIT Yes
MindTerm Cryptzone Active November 13, 1998 February 25, 2014 Proprietary Yes
MobaXterm Mobatek Active 2008 2014-08-04

7.2

OpenSSH Proprietary No
eSSH Client Ecode Software Inactive July 2002 Proprietary No
Private Shell Imposant Active April 2003 2013-07-29

3.2

Proprietary No
ProxyCap Proxy Labs Active 2002 Proprietary No
FileZilla Tim Kosse Active June 22, 2001 2013-08-06

3.7.2

PuTTY GPL Yes
lsh Niels Möller Active May 23, 1999 2013-06-26

2.0.4

GPL Yes
OpenSSH The OpenBSD project Active December 1, 1999 2014-03-16

6.6

ossh BSD Yes
PACManager David Torrejón Vaquerizas Active January 1, 2010 2014-08-29

4.5.5

OpenSSH, Telnet, FTP, vncviewer, rdesktop, cu, remote-tty, mosh, cadaver GPL Yes
PuTTY Simon Tatham Active January 22, 1999 2013-08-06

0.63

MIT Yes
Reflection for Secure IT Attachmate Active 2012-11-12 F-Secure SSH Proprietary No
Salt Maarten L. Hekkelman Active November 2011 2013-06-22

3.2.2

Proprietary No
SecureCRT VanDyke Software Active June 1998 2014-01-16

7.2.1

Proprietary No
SmartFTP SmartSoft Ltd Active 1998 Proprietary No
SSH Tectia Client/ConnectSecure SSH Communications Security (former Tectia) Active July 1995 2013-07 Own implementation in C Proprietary No
SunSSH Open Solaris Active 2001 OpenSSH 2.3 CDDL Yes
Terminals CodePlex Terminals CodePlex Project Active 2006 2013-07-16

3.1

Microsoft MS-CL Yes
Tera Term TeraTerm Project Active 2004 2013-02-28

4.77

TeraTerm 2.3 (1994–1998) BSD Yes
TN3270 Plus SDI USA, Inc. Active 2006 Proprietary No
Token2Shell Choung Networks Active 2008 2014-03-06

6.9.0

Proprietary No
TtyEmulator FCS Software Active May 2002 Proprietary No
WinSCP Martin Prikryl Active 2000 2014-03-20

5.5.2

PuTTY GPL Yes
Xshell NetSarang Active 2014-03-30 Proprietary No
ZOC Terminal EmTec, Innovative Software Active July 1, 1995 2014-04-09

6.56

Proprietary No
Penguinet siliconcircus  ? 1998? 2011-07-24

2.54

Proprietary No

Platform[edit]

The operating systems or virtual machines the SSH clients are designed to run on without emulation; there are several possibilities:

  • Partial indicates that while it works, the client lacks important functionality compared to versions for other OSs but may still be under development.

The list is not exhaustive, but rather reflects the most common platforms today.

Name Mac OS X Mac OS Classic Windows Cygwin BSD Linux Solaris Palm OS Java OpenVMS Windows Mobile z/OS AmigaOS AIX HP-UX iOS Android Maemo Windows Phone
AbsoluteTelnet No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No ?
ConnectBot No No No No No No No No N/A N/A N/A N/A No No No No Yes No ?
Dropbear Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No N/A N/A N/A N/A No Yes Yes No Yes Yes ?
eSSH Client Yes No Yes N/A Yes Yes Yes No N/A N/A N/A N/A No No No No No No ?
lsh Yes No No No Partial[Note 1] Yes Yes No N/A N/A N/A N/A No No No No No No ?
MindTerm Yes Yes Yes N/A Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes N/A No Yes Yes No No No ?
MobaXterm No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
OpenSSH Included No No Included Included Included[Note 2] Yes No N/A Yes N/A Yes Yes Yes[Note 3] Yes Yes[Note 4] No Yes ?
Private Shell No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
PACManager No No No No Partial Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No
ProxyCap Yes No Yes No No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No ?
PuTTY Partial Partial Yes N/A Yes Yes ? No N/A N/A Yes N/A No No No No No No Beta[Note 5]
Salt No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No ?
SecureCRT Yes No Yes No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No ?
SmartFTP No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No ?
SSH Tectia Client/ConnectSecure No No Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes[Note 6] No No Yes No Yes Yes No No No ?
Tera Term No No Yes No No No No No N/A N/A N/A N/A No N/A No No No No ?
TN3270 Plus No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No ?
Token2Shell No No Yes No No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No Yes[Note 7]
TtyEmulator No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No ?
WinSCP No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes[Note 4] No No ?
Xshell No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
ZOC Yes No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No ?
Penguinet No No Yes No No No No No No No ? No No No No No No No ?
Name Mac OS X Mac OS Classic Windows Cygwin BSD Linux Solaris Palm OS Java OpenVMS Windows Mobile z/OS AmigaOS AIX HP-UX iOS Android Maemo Windows Phone
  1. ^ lsh supports only one BSD platform officially, FreeBSD.
  2. ^ The majority of Linux distributions have OpenSSH as an official package, but a few do not.
  3. ^ Openssh 3.4 was the first release included since AIX
  4. ^ a b Only for jailbroken devices.
  5. ^ Available from the Windows Phone Store. See Nogsnet/PuTTY for details
  6. ^ In the form of a Java Secure File Transfer API.
  7. ^ Available as Token2Shell/WP in Windows Phone Store

Technical[edit]

Name User interface SSH1 SSH2 Additional protocols Tunneling Session
multiplexing[Note 1]
Kerberos IPv6 Terminal SFTP/SCP Proxy client[Note 2]
TELNET rlogin Port
forwarding
SOCKS[Note 3] VPN[Note 4]
AbsoluteTelnet GUI (multi-session,
single-window)
Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes SOCKS 4, 5; HTTP
Dropbear command line No Yes No No Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes ?
lsh command line No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes ?
MindTerm GUI or command Line or browser Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes SOCKS 4, 5; HTTP;;FTP;Generic
MobaXterm GUI or command line Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes SOCKS 4, 5
OpenSSH command line Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ProxyCommand
PACManager GUI Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes SOCKS 4, 5; HTTP; Generic
Private Shell GUI or command line No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes SOCKS 5
ProxyCap GUI Yes Yes No No Yes No No No Yes Yes No No SOCKS 4, 5; HTTP; SSH
PuTTY GUI or command line Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes[Note 5] Yes Yes Yes[Note 6] SOCKS 4, 5; HTTP; Telnet; Local
Salt GUI No Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No SSH
SecureCRT GUI Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes SOCKS 4, 5; HTTP; Telnet; Generic
SmartFTP GUI (multi-session,
single-window)
No Yes Yes No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes SOCKS 4, 5; HTTP
Tera Term GUI Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No No Yes Yes SCP SOCKS 4, 5; HTTP; Telnet
TN3270 Plus GUI Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No SOCKS 4
Token2Shell GUI Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes SOCKS 4, 5; HTTP
TtyEmulator GUI or command line Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes No SOCKS 4,4a, 5; HTTP Local
WinSCP GUI or command line Yes Yes No No No No No No Yes Yes simple Yes SOCKS 4, 5; HTTP; Telnet; Local
ZOC TDI or command line Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No ? No Yes Yes SCP SOCKS 4
Penguinet GUI (multi-session,
single-window)
Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes SOCKS 4, 5
  1. ^ Accelerating OpenSSH connections with ControlMaster.
  2. ^ Can the SSH client connect itself through a proxy? This is distinct from offering a SOCKS proxy or port forwarding.
  3. ^ The ability for the SSH client to perform dynamic port forwarding by acting as a local SOCKS proxy.
  4. ^ The ability for the SSH client to establish a VPN, e.g. using TUN/TAP.
  5. ^ The version 0.63 supports GSSAPI. Successfully tested on Win 8 using Active Directory [1]
  6. ^ The PuTTY developers provide SCP and SFTP functionality as binaries for separate download.

Features[edit]

Name Keyboard mapping Session tabs ZMODEM transfers Find text in buffer Mouse input support[Note 1] Unicode support URL hyperlinking Public key authentication Smart card support Hardware encryption FIPS 140-2 validation Scripting Shared Database
AbsoluteTelnet full Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? Yes Yes ?
MindTerm No Yes No No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No No
MobaXterm No Yes no, but built-in graphical SFTP client Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes ?
OpenSSH ? No No ? Yes[Note 2] Yes not native[Note 3] Yes Yes[Note 4] Yes Partial[Note 5] No No
PACManager No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes ?
Private Shell Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes ?
ProxyCap No No No No No Yes No Yes No No No No ?
PuTTY No No[Note 6] No No Yes Yes No[Note 7] Yes No[Note 8] No[Note 9] No No No
Salt Yes No No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No No No ?
SecureCRT Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
SmartFTP Partial Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes AES-NI Yes No ?
Tera Term Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
TN3270 Plus Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes No No No Yes ?
Token2Shell Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No AES-NI No Yes ?
TtyEmulator No No No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No Yes ?
Penguinet Yes Yes No No No ? No Yes No No No No ?
ZOC full Yes Yes Alt+F Yes UTF-8 Yes Yes No No No Yes ?
  1. ^ The ability to transmit mouse input to text mode applications such as Midnight Commander
  2. ^ Only when the terminal itself supports mouse input. Most graphical ones do, e.g. xterm
  3. ^ No native URL highlighting; however most graphical consoles support URL highlighting
  4. ^ OpenSSH needs to be patched to ask for the pin of the smartcard. If you don't want to patch OpenSSH you can use ssh-agent (the link is in french)
  5. ^ Validated [2] when operated on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 in FIPS mode
  6. ^ PuTTY does not support directly, but with installing PuTTY Connection Manager or SuperPuTTY session tabs support is available.
  7. ^ PuTTY does not support smart cards but PuTTY-CAC does, see http://www.risacher.org/putty-cac/.
  8. ^ PuTTY does not support AES-NI but a branch of PuTTY named PuTTY-AES-NI does.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]