Saving a username for a server

Usually, you want to always connect to a particular machine with the same username. With PuTTY, it would seem that there is no way to save a username in a session configuration, that there is no way to avoid being prompted for the username every time you double-click the session name. Not so – it’s just hidden in a less than obvious place:

To save the username, enter it in the Auto-login username box on the Connection → Data panel.

Silly? You tell me.

Line drawing characters

PuTTY identifies as xterm by default. If you use a UTF-8 locale on your Linux/UNIX machines, many applications will react to TERM=xterm by sending line drawing characters as a pair of characters consisting of a mode-switching character followed by some normal character such as x, q, and the like. PuTTY ignores the mode-switching character. As a result, trees, lines, boxes and the like don’t look anything like trees, lines or boxes.

The solution is to have PuTTY identify as linux (ie. the Linux console TerminalEmulator) instead. To make it all work right, you need to twiddle the following configuration settings:

Terminal → Keyboard:
Change the sequences sent by: The Functions keys and Keypad:
Select Linux.
Window → Appearance:
Font settings:
Pick a font that contains the Unicode line drawing characters, such as Andale Mono or Lucida Console. (Unfortunately Vista’s gorgeous new Consolas font does not have those.)
Window → Translation:
Character set translation on received data:
Select UTF-8.
Adjust how PuTTY handles line drawing characters:
Select Use Unicode line drawing code points.
Connection → Data:
Terminal details: Terminal-type string:
Enter “linux”.

Now line drawing characters should show up as they are supposed to.