I often find myself opening an SSH session to run the same single command. I have everything setup to login without entering a password (Via SSH Key-Based Auth), so I wondered if there was a way to create a shortcut or a batch file in Windows that would load PuTTY or a similar program, then fire off that command (and likely exit if result is good).

7 Answers 7


Use the commandline PuTTY version plink.exe to initate a SSH connection to a host of choice. Use the -ssh switch to connect with SSH. With the -m switch you can include a command file:

plink.exe -ssh host1 -m C:\path\to\commands.txt

You can download plink.exe from here.

Last step would be to create a shortcut including plink.exe with the desired parameters.

Check out the Plink documentation for other various parameters: Plink.exe documentation

  • 2
    No need to use -m switch with Plink, as it allow to specify command directly on its command-line, see my answer. Dec 19, 2017 at 15:15
  • I am choosing this answer as I prefer using -ssh host1 which relates to putty Profile vs user@host Dec 21, 2017 at 12:39
  • 1
    @FreeSoftwareServers There's no difference to PuTTY in this respect. You can do plink site command the same way as with PuTTY (except for command). Plink and PuTTY has basically the same set of command-line options. Dec 28, 2017 at 8:02

To automate a command execution, use Plink (from PuTTY package), not PuTTY itself.

Plink accepts a command on its command line:

plink.exe user@host command

If you want to keep using PuTTY, you can use -m switch to specify a command file (Plink supports the -m switch too).


You can use putty configurations to achieve this.

Load putty and configure your session.

Enter the remote command that you'd like to run here:

Putty remote command box

Then, before clicking "Open", go back to the "Session" tab (at the top), and save your configuration.

Now, create a shortcut to putty.exe, adding the -load flag, for example:

%PATH_TO_PUTTY%\putty.exe -load my_config

Now, you can just click on the shortcut and it will load your session, executing your command.

  • Looks awesome, ill test tomorrow, i suppose i will just execute a script and it can end the session based on results of script Dec 19, 2017 at 12:45
  • Yes, the session will end when the command terminates. If you'd like PuTTY to hang around once done (e.g: to inspect the output), then set "Close window on exit" in the "Session" tab.
    – Attie
    Dec 19, 2017 at 14:09

If you're using Windows 10 or higher, you might be interested to know that Microsoft has a beta of OpenSSH, both the client and the server. You can install OpenSSH with Windows Features as below or download the portable version from GitHub.

To install the OpenSSH [client]:

  1. Open Settings, select Apps, then select Optional Features.
  2. Scan the list to see if the OpenSSH is already installed. If not, at the top of the page, select Add a feature, then:
    • Find OpenSSH Client, then select Install
    • […server installation, if needed…]
  3. Once setup completes, return to Apps and Optional Features and confirm OpenSSH is listed.
  4. […server configuration, if needed…]

After this, you should be able to use ssh like you would on a Unix-like system:

C:\WINDOWS\system32>ssh user@host "ls -l ~"

You should only need the server running on machines you log in to and only need the client on machines you log in from. Correspondingly, if you log into one machine as a proxy to hop into another one, that middle machine will need both.

  • Thats really cool to know, but I love SuperPuTTY. I will keep an eye on Windows OpenSSH as well. Dec 21, 2017 at 12:18

Here is the script I made to hopefully save some people hours of syntax and man page research.

  1. SingleIP, IP Range, or IPList file
  2. Script name to run on the IP/range (actual Unix sh/ksh type script)
  3. Optionally do nmap scan for port 22 open (i.e. subnet with some non-Linux machines)
    • want to avoid IPs putty cannot connect to, avoiding script being able to continue properly
  4. Optionally run pscp command to autocache the host key (PuTTY does not do this automatically)

This batch assumes:

  1. You have the full PuTTY package and SSH key are installed in C:\Program Files\PuTTY\
  2. Batch scripts and IPlist files are installed in C:\Program Files\PuTTY\scripts\
  3. The nmap and PuTTY working directories are in your command path

This is mostly useful for having a single script (such as updating an SSL certificate) across a range of machines.

Here is the complete batch file:


rem  You must modify the CACHEKEY and SCRIPT section to reflect your SSH key location

set IPFILE=IPList_temp.txt
set runagain=n
set OPTION=1
set RANGE=
set IP=
set SCAN=n

ECHO (Working directory is set to C:\Program Files\PuTTY\scripts\)
ECHO 1. Single IP
ECHO 2. IP list file
ECHO 3. IP Range
set /p OPTION="Choose IP type:"
echo Please select a valid option

ECHO Enter the IP range(s) as in the following example. Use a space between multiple ranges:
ECHO       i.e. ""
set /p RANGE=Enter Range: 
echo %RANGE% > %IPFILE%

set /p IP=Enter IP:
echo %IP% > %IPFILE%

set /p IP=Enter IPList filename:
copy /Y %IP% %IPFILE%

set /p SCRIPT=Enter script name:
if not exist %SCRIPT% (
echo filename does not exist!

set /p SCAN=Do Nmap scan first? (recommended):

rem Check whether IP type is "range" as nmap cannot read an IP range from file and must be type directly in nmap command
echo Scanning IPs for port 22 open...
nmap --open -n -p22 -iL %IPFILE% -oG - | findstr /E Up > nmap_temp.txt

echo Scanning IPs for port 22 open...
nmap --open -n -p22 %RANGE% -oG - | findstr /E Up > nmap_temp.txt

echo DONE
rem     nmap formatting is not correct, the following removes extra info
for /f "tokens=2" %%A in (nmap_temp.txt) do echo %%A >> nmap_temp2.txt
rem remove hidden space at end of IP (requires "repl" be in the batch file directory)
type "nmap_temp2.txt" | repl " " "" > %IPFILE%

set /p KEYCACHE=Scan and cache SSH key (y/n) ?

rem Run through all IPs to cache the SSH Host Key if not already cached
for /F "tokens=*" %%A in (%IPFILE%) do ( echo y | "C:\Program Files\PuTTY\pscp.exe" -l root -i "C:\Program Files\PuTTY\SSH.ppk" -touch %%A:/tmp/test )

for /F "tokens=1" %%A in (%IPFILE%) do ( "C:\Program Files\PuTTY\putty.exe" -ssh %%A -t -l root -i "C:\Program Files\PuTTY\SSH.ppk" -m "C:\Program Files\PuTTY\scripts\%SCRIPT%" )
if exist nmap_temp.txt (del nmap_temp.txt)
if exist nmap_temp2.txt (del nmap_temp2.txt)
set /p runagain="Press Enter to Finish or y to rerun"
if %runagain%==y GOTO OPTION
  • 1
    Link only answers are frowned upon, what if your site goes down? If you want to contribute, please share the script here. Your welcome to post a source/link to the site along with the code here, but answers should be self-contained and not require following links. Jun 5, 2019 at 7:55
  • 2
    batch contents pasted Jun 5, 2019 at 18:44
  • Do not "autocache" a host key. Verifying host key is an integral part of securing your SSH session. PuTTY (and its tools) do not ask you for the host key for fun or to harass you. It has a reason! + You also should not store user data (SSH.ppk and the script) to Program Files` folder. Jun 6, 2019 at 4:52
  • can you recommend how to run a script across multiple IPs without it? a) this is not meant for a typical user desktop, more for an admin server where security is more who has access to the server b) what exactly IS the security risk? Caching the host key is optional and should only be done once across the range. If you run the script again without caching the key you will still see and host key changes and the script will not continue on... Jun 7, 2019 at 16:04
  • ......In agreement on the key thou. I point to a shared folder on our NAS where the shared folder lives, which only I have access to. I just picked a path since other users will be different Jun 7, 2019 at 16:24

You can also look at software such as mRemoteNG, MOBAxTerm or SecureCRT which will manage your SSH connections for you, this also links with the saved PuTTY sessions so you can apply a template to the session.


This is the final "CMD" which I can just save on my FileServer and create a shortcut on my Desktop.

::Automated Opening of SSH Tunnel & Execute CMD on Remote Host

set puttydir="C:\Program Files\PuTTY"
set exe=plink.exe
::Profile must exist in PuTTY
set remotehost=FileServer
set remotecmd="chmod 777 /mnt/mdadm/torrents -R"

cd %puttydir% 

%exe% %remotehost% %remotecmd%

::Test First Manually in CMD Prompt
::Note Remote Host does NOT have access to BashRC Alias's
::start "C:\Program Files\PuTTY\" plink.exe -ssh FileServer touch /tmp/testfile
::start "C:\Program Files\PuTTY\" plink.exe -ssh FileServer ~/script.sh

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .