Every few years there comes the time to refresh my NAS hardware and the choice usually falls upon the latest NAS4Free installation. As I do fair amount of customizing, this means that SSH access is mandatory. With version NAS4Free 10 I stumbled upon trouble. My trusty PuTTY could not connect and there was no obvious reason why.
Only potential culprit I could find was in NAS4Free using DSA keys but PuTTY has been supporting those for ages so that was obviously not a full story. And I could connect from Linux so it was really PuTTY doing funny stuff and not misconfiguration. As I wanted my project to go further I decided to find PuTTY’s replacement. And that search pretty much boiled my choices down to two.
First candidate was MobaXterm. Not only that this replaces PuTTY but it also offers much better session management and an reasonable tabbed interface. However, it has $70 price tag attached. Yes, there is a free version too but its restrictions make it unsuitable for anybody dealing with SSH regularly. Call me a cheap bastard but I don’t want to give that kind of money for SSH client. All other functionality MobaXterm has is a nice touch and might make it worth that money, but I didn’t really have any use for it.
Another program worth considering was mRemoteNG. While this one also worked well as a SSH client toward my NAS4Free machine and it does come as a free download I found that its interface was simply too annoying to deal with. Yes, I would use it in a pinch but for the most time it was making me think MobaXterm might be worth it.
And then I went onto PuTTY’s page and saw there was a new release available (0.65). Guess what? That release worked without a hitch. Yes, sane person would check for a new version before spending time testing the replacement but I got so used to PuTTY developed in a lazy fashion that I honestly didn’t expect a new version to be there.
So, after a long search I came back to PuTTY and its abysmal session management. And I couldn’t be happier about it.