HOWTO: start named PuTTY sessions from a Windows shortcut

I have Windows 7 on my laptop, but since I’m a die-hard Linux geek and haven’t got the patience to wait for anyone else to figure out all of the drivers needed for a clean, working Linux build on my M17x, I installed Cygwin. However, the limitation of running Cygwin in a DOS-like command line window that couldn’t be expanded beyond 80 characters was a nuisance. Enter “puttytel” (downloadable on this page) which can connect to your local Cygwin installation in a PuTTY-like SSH terminal. Running this executable gives you a connection type of “cygterm” which you select along with a command of just a dash mark for a local shell.

Of course, then came the mind-numbing exercise of clicking the PuTTY icon, and having to double-click the “cygwin” profile I made (for scrollback, colored terminal, etc). A quick Google search later, and I had my answer.

1. Create a shortcut on your desktop for PuTTYtel.exe (right-button drag and drop the executable works great, select “Create Shortcuts here”)

2. Right-click the shortcut icon and select Properties
3. Under the “General” tab, give it a meaningful name
4. Under the “Shortcut” tab, where it lists your target as “C:\whateverpath\puttytel.exe” change it to include a parameter of -load (single dash) and then a string (quoted if it contains spaces, etc) of which profile name you want to autoload. Since mine was called “—-cygwin” (so it would appear at the top of my stored session list), my new Target line became this:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\putty\puttytel.exe" -load "----cygwin"
5. Click OK to save, then right-click on the shortcut again and select “pin to taskbar”
6. Now you can simply click that icon, and it will immediately load that PuTTY saved session for you.

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