I know of PuTTY, but let's face it, PuTTY looks bad. Macs have some beautiful SSH clients. What about Windows? Anything stylish and modern?

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    Can you add a screenshot of a beautiful SSH client? Commented Apr 5, 2014 at 17:10
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    A terminal is a terminal. An ssh client must be IMHO as inobtrusive as possible to get the work done. Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 10:46
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    This is a great and fun question, but rather broad, and without much research or details. Please include some more details on your requirements and what you'd consider "beautiful", add some additional requirements (surely you want a full ssh client? etc), include software you've tried and why you didn't like it, etc.
    – Jeroen
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 22:05
  • FLOSS or non FLOSS?
    – frlan
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 11:50
  • Putty can look nice if you tweak it, use a font like consolas and do some registry hacks to put in better colors quicker: arcanesanctum.net/2012/11/17/… Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 14:58

7 Answers 7


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but ZOC Terminal should definitely be on your list.

It's not free, but chock-full of features and definitely good looking, as can be seen here.

enter image description here

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    +1 for the first answer focusing on the problem of the OP by providing a SSH client and not a SCP client. Keep up the good work Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 14:48
  • Thanks mate, much appreciated (I was wondering about the other answers myself). Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 10:13

What is beautiful? Functionality or looks?

And is the emulator (wrapper) you want to look good, or the shell/environment? In most cases the environment can look great by just switching to a Powerline font variant and a customized framework (Oh-My-Zsh, anyone?)

Here are a few of the terminal emulators I use on Windows.


Hyper.is is one of the nicest looking on windows, due to both its flexibility and customization.

Combined with ZSH (oh-my-zsh), a powerline font, a theme and some plugins, it's one of the nicer looking terminals. It's a wrapper so you can use an environment of your choice (WSL, Cygwin, msys2, Git Bash, etc). In my screenshot, I have it running in my Babun/Cygwin environment with the Material theme. Check out Awesome-Hyper to get it just the way you like.


Babun / Mintty

Babun is a built-for-Windows shell including must of what you need in a nice package. It's default terminal emulator is Mintty in the cygwin environment. What makes mintty nice is it's customization but a minimal approach.

Babun in Mintty

Honorable Mentions

XShell 6 (beta) is shaping up nicely, although a paid solution. Mentioned for it's functionality, rather than customization.

RoyalTS is a major all-in-one tool and has everything from RDP, SSH, VNC, Telnet, etc. The free version is limited to loading a document with 10 connections; More than enough for the average user, plus you can just make multiple documents and switch between them.

WinSSHTerm, as mentioned above. Has a nice 'clean' interface with a nice layout.


Bitvise SSH Client looks a bit more appealing than PuTTY - I used to use PuTTY but switched to this because of the interface, but as the comments say, what do you think "beautiful" is?

This is Bitvise SSH Client:

As you can see, it looks slightly better than PuTTY

As you can see, it looks slightly better than PuTTY, almost like Fugu for Mac - you might have seen it around.

It's free for individual use - hope you like it!

  • The screenshot seems to show an SCP GUI rather that a SSH GUI. Where can you enter terminal commands? Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 14:46
  • @ThomasWeller sorry for such a late reply, but you need to click the New terminal console button in the panel on the left of the screen which comes after you login to a server. Here's a screenshot from their site :) Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 21:25
  • Neither does that screenshot show how the terminal itself looks. Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 21:04

In case you are thinking about the terminal color and font, then yes the standard settings in PuTTY are not optimal - especially if you need to work with it 8 hours a day.

In WinSSHTerm, which is a wrapper for PuTTY, these settings are optimized for readability.



Cyberduck is a free and open-source FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, S3 & OpenStack Swift file browser for Mac and Windows.

Cyberduck screenshot

Note that this is only a file browser, if you're looking for a terminal there's no such thing as a "beautiful" terminal, but you can still try PuTTYTray which adds some good-looking features like transparency and support for changing the taskbar icon of the terminal window, and you can use a custom color scheme, I personally use GDvalle's Monokai theme (compatible with both PuTTYTray and the original PuTTY, just save the Gist as a .reg file and open it).

Here's what PuTTYTray looks like on my machine with the Monokai theme, cleartype font, transparency and a custom icon :

PuTTYTray screenshot

  • it seems putty tray also makes the text transparent. is there a way to keep the text opaque only background transparent? Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 4:52

One of my favorite ssh clients is Termius, previously known as Serverauditor. It's very beautiful and works very good in smartphones too.

Termius is the #1 cross-platform terminal with built-in SSH and Telnet. It is the portable server management system that works for you in any situation.

termius ssh

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    How do I use this to connect with a key file instead of username and password? Could not figure it out. Either not possible or usability is below 0. Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 19:34
  • @ThomasWeller couldn't find how do that too. They claim that they provide password, key and 2FA (multi-factor) authentication, but it seems that in windows version this feature is not yet included. My mistake not paying attention to this, sorry. Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 20:12
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    @ThomasWeller you just go to the keychaing and manually paste the private key, then assign it to a host, Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 21:11

PowerShell team from Microsoft ported OpenSSH to Windows. It doesn't provide a graphic user interface but that's advantage to me, because I have been running PowerShell within ConEmu for long. This is a screenshot from ConEmu website:


Coming from Linux, I always like the idea of separating Virtual Terminal (like iTerm2 in macOS) from Shell and Application (like Bash and SSH), because I typically want to configure them independently. "Tabs within window" is obviously the job of a terminal, so it is weird to ask SSH client to do that.

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