MobaXTerm: A good gnome-terminal like tabbed SSH client for Windows / Windows Putty Tabs Alternative

Mobaxterm ssh client putty MS Windows alternative with tabs suitable for ex linux users

mobaxterm with tabbed ssh connections screenshot best putty windows ssh client alternative now

Last 10+ years I worked on GNU / Linux as Desktop. Last 7 years most of my SSH connections were managed from GNOME and I'm quite used to gnome-terminal ssh tabbing. In my new Employee Hewlett Packard. I'm forced to work on Microsoft Windows 7 and thus I used for a month or so Putty and Kitty fork from version 0.63 of PuTTY advertising itself as the best telnet / SSH client in the world. Both of the two lack tabbing and have interface which is pretty unfamiliar to me. As I'm so used to using native UNIX terminal. Fortunately a colleague of mine Ivelin was using an SSH client called MobaXTerm which very much did emulation similar to my favourite gnome-terminal. MobaXterm is not free software / open source app but this doesn't matter so much to me as anyways I'm running a non-free Win OS on my desktop. What makes MobaXterm so attractive is its rich functionality (cosmic years infront of Putty).

Here is website description of MobaXterm quoted from its website:

MobaXterm is an enhanced terminal for Windows with an X11 server, a tabbed SSH client and several other network tools for remote computing (VNC, RDP, telnet, rlogin). MobaXterm brings all the essential Unix commands to Windows desktop, in a single portable exe file which works out of the box.

Overall list of features MobaXterm offers are;

  •     multitab terminal with embedded Unix commands (ls, cd, cat, sed, grep, awk, rsync, wget, …)

  •     embedded X11 server for easily exporting your Unix/Linux display

  •     a session manager with several network utilities: SSH, RDP, VNC, Telnet, Rlogin, FTP, SFTP and XDMCP

  •     passwords management for SSH, RDP, VNC, SFTP (on demand password saving)

  •     easy graphical file transfer using drag and drop during SSH sessions

  •     advanced SSH tunnels creation tool (graphical port forwarding builder)

  •     tasks automation using scripts or macros

Mobaxterm is portable just like Putty so its useful to use on HOP stations to servers like used in big companies like HP. Featured embedded Unix commands (e.g., ls, cd, cat, sed, grep, awk, rsync, wget) gives a feeling like you're working on pure Linux console making people addicted to Linux / BSD quite confortable. Some other very useful terminal emulator functions are support for anti-aliasing session manager (save / remember passwords for ssh sessions in Crypted format so much missing in Putty) and it even supports basic macros.
Basic UNIX commands embedded in MobaXterm are taken and ported from Cygwin projectLinux-like environment for Windows making it possible to port software running on POSIX systems (such as Linux, BSD, and Unix systems) to Windows. A very cool think is also MobaXterm gives you a Linux like feel of console navigation in between basic files installed from Cygwin. Some downside I found is program menus which look at first glimpse a bit confusing especially for people used to simplicity of gnome-terminal. Once logged in to remote host via ssh command the program offers you to log you in also via SFTP protocol listing in parallel small window with possibility to navigate / copy / move etc. between server files in SFTP session which at times is pretty useful as it saves you time to use some external SFTP connector tools like  WinSCP.

From Tools configuration menu, there are few precious tools as well;
         – embedded text editor MobaTextEditor
         – MobaFoldersDiff (Able to show diffeernces between directories)
         – AsciiTable (Complete List of Ascii table with respective codes and characters)
         – Embedded simple Calculator
         – List open network ports – GUI Tool to list all open ports on Windows localhost
         – Network packets capture – A Gui tool showing basic info like from UNIX's tcpdump!
         – Ability to start quickly on local machine (TFTP, FTP, SFTP / SSH server, Telnet server, NFS server, VNC Server and even simple implementation of HTTP server)

Mobaxterm list of tools various stuff

         Mobaxterm run various services quickly on Windows servers management screenshot

Below are few screenshots to get you also idea about what kind of configuration MobaXterm supports
  mobaxterm terminal configuration settings screenshot

mobaxterm better putty alternative x11 configuration tab screenshot

mobaxterm windows ssh client for linux users configuration ssh tab screenshot

mobaxterm-putty-alternative-for-windows-configuration-display-screenshot
MobaXTerm Microsoft Windows ssh client configuration misc menu screenshot
To configure and use Telnet, RSH, RDP, VNC, FTP etc. Sessions use the Sessions tab on top menu.

One very handy thing is MobaXterm supports export of remote UNIX display with no requirement to install special Xserver like already a bit obsolete Xming – X server for Windows.
The X Display Manager Control Protocol (XCMCP) is a key feature of the X11 architecture. Together with XDMCP, the X network protocol allows distributed operation of the X server and X display manager. The requesting X server runs on the client (usually as an X terminal), thus providing a login service, that why the X server ported to MobaXterm from Cygwin also supports XDMCP. If, for example, you want to start a VNC session with a remote VNC server, all you have to do is enter the remote VNC server’s IP address in the VNC area; the default VNC port is already registered.

Accessing the remote Windows server via RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) is also a piece of cake. Once you establish a session to RDP or other Proto it is possible to save this session so later you just choose between session to access. The infamous (X11 Port Forwarding) or creation of SSH encrypted tunnels between hosts to transfer data securily or hide your hostname is also there.

MobaXterm is undoubtedly a very useful and versatile tool. Functionally, the software is well mannered, and Windows users who want to sniff a little Linux/Unix air can get a good idea of how Linux works. A closer look reveals that anything you can do with MobaXterm can be achieved directly with freely available tools (Cygwin) and Unix tools ported from Cygwin. However, although Cygwin provides a non-Posix environment for Windows, it doesn’t offer a decent terminal, which is one thing Moba-Xterm has going for it.

Admittedly, in pure vanilla Cygwin, you can start an X server automatically and then use xterm, but xterm lacks good-quality fonts, whereas MobaXterm conveniently lets you integrate a font server.

Share this on:

More helpful Articles

Download PDFDownload PDF

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

13 Responses to “MobaXTerm: A good gnome-terminal like tabbed SSH client for Windows / Windows Putty Tabs Alternative”

  1. admin says:
    Firefox 25.0 Firefox 25.0 Windows 7 x64 Edition Windows 7 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:25.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/25.0

    Something really cool I forgot to mention is the screensaver embedded into MobaXterm. If you leave if for some minutes your screen gets filled with flying hats penguins 🙂 Cute !

    View CommentView Comment
  2. admin says:
    Firefox 25.0 Firefox 25.0 Windows 7 x64 Edition Windows 7 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:25.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/25.0

    Another great SSH tabbed terminal unfortunately proprietary is SecureCRT. If you have some time be sure to give it a try 🙂

    View CommentView Comment
  3. hip0 says:
    Firefox 25.0 Firefox 25.0 Windows 7 x64 Edition Windows 7 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:25.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/25.0

    By the way KiTTY's Putty variation has support for saving password. This is very confortable if you have to manage "forest" of servers. Of course it is less secure than typing the password everytime but still worthy to use if you have to take care for 300 or more servers.

    View CommentView Comment
  4. admin says:
    Firefox 25.0 Firefox 25.0 Windows 7 x64 Edition Windows 7 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:25.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/25.0

    MobaXTerm supports also following plugin extensions:
     

    •Emacs: The extensible, customizable, self-documenting real-time display editor
    •Fontforge: A complete font editor with many features
    •Gcc, G++ and development tools: the GNU C/C++ compiler and other development tools
    •Gvim: The Vim editor with a GTK interface
    •MPlayer: The ultimate video player
    •Perl: Larry Wall’s Practical Extracting and Report Language
    •Curl: Curl is a command line tool for transferring data with URL syntax
    •Corkscrew: Corkscrew allows to tunnel TCP connections through HTTP proxies
    •Connect-Proxy: Simple relaying command to make network connection via SOCKS and https proxy
    •Tcl / Tk / Expect: Tcl is a simple-to-learn yet very powerful language. Tk is its graphical toolkit. Expect is an automation tool which is very useful, especially for SysAdmins.
    •Screen: Screen is a terminal multiplexer and window manager that runs several separate ‘screens’ on a single physical character-based terminal.
    •Png2Ico: Png2Ico Converts PNG files to Windows icon resource files.
    •NEdit: NEdit is a multi-purpose text editor for the X Window System.
    •Midnight Commander: Midnight Commander is a feature rich text mode visual file manager.
    •Subversion (SVN): Subversion is a powerful version control system.
    •Git: A fast and powerful version control system.
    •FVWM2: A light but powerful window manager for X11.
    •Xorg (legacy): The old X11 (Xorg v1.6.5) server: use this plugin if you have trouble connecting to an old Unix station through XDMCP.
    •DnsUtils: This plugin includes some useful utilities for host name resolution: dig, host, nslookup and nsupdate.
    •PdKsh: A KSH shell open-source implementation.
    •Exif: Command-line utility to show EXIF information hidden in JPEG files.
    •Lynx: A text-mode web browser.
    •E2fsProgs: Utilities for creating, fixing, configuring, and debugging ext2/3/4 filesystems.
    •Httperf: A tool for measuring web server performance.
    •SquashFS: mksquashfs and unsquashfs tools allow you to create/unpack squashfs filesystems from Windows.
    •XServers: Xephyr, Xnest, Xdmx, Xvfb and Xfake alternate X11 servers.
    •Python: An interpreted, interactive object-oriented programming language.
    •OpenSSL: A toolkit implementing SSL v2/v3 and TLS protocols.
    •X11Fonts: Complete set of fonts for X11 server.
    •Joe: Fast and simple editor which emulates 5 other editors.
    •File: Determines file type using magic numbers.
    •Lrzsz: Unix communication package providing the XMODEM, YMODEM ZMODEM file transfer protocols.
    •Sqlite3: Software library that implements a self-contained, serverless, zero-configuration, transactional SQL database engine.
    •X3270Suite: IBM 3270 terminal emulator for Windows.
    •Multitail: Program for monitoring multiple log files, in the fashion of the original tail program.
    •Mosh: SSH replacement which supports roaming, intermittent connectivity changes and provides optimistic local echo and line editing of user keystrokes.
    •Lftp: Sophisticated file transfer program and ftp/http/bittorrent client.
    •Node.js: Node.js is a platform built on Chrome’s JavaScript runtime for easily building fast, scalable network applications. This plugin does not include NPM.

    View CommentView Comment
  5. admin says:
    Firefox 30.0 Firefox 30.0 Windows 7 x64 Edition Windows 7 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:30.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/30.0

    Here is a mirror repository of (current version 7.1) of portable and installable MobaXterm terminal – http://www.pc-freak.net/files/mobaxterm/

    If you want to install also all the plugins available from mobaxterm website – without downloading the plugins one by one here is an archive with all mobaxterm plugins

    View CommentView Comment
  6. hip0 says:
    Google Chrome 40.0.2214.111 Google Chrome 40.0.2214.111 Windows 7 x64 Edition Windows 7 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/40.0.2214.111 Safari/537.36

    In latest current version of MobaXterm 7.4, there is even apt-get!! I wanted to see whether I have midnight commander (MC) enabled and noticed i'm offered to install via apt-get:
     

    Trying to download file setup.bz2

    Trying to download file setup.ini
    Trying to download file setup.bz2
    Downloading /home/mobaxterm/.aptcyg/http%3a%2f%2fmirrors.kernel.org%2fsourceware                                                                             %2fcygwin/setup.bz2 using Windows internet settings
    Updated setup.ini
    Found package mc

    View CommentView Comment
    • hip0 says:
      Google Chrome 40.0.2214.111 Google Chrome 40.0.2214.111 Windows 7 x64 Edition Windows 7 x64 Edition
      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/40.0.2214.111 Safari/537.36

      Current latest MobaXterm is 7.4. in help menu the program has a way to check for newer updates. Updating an old portable MobaXterm is done nice by just substituting the old portable app binary and using the same old configuration. apt-get install mc worked lika charm now I have mc on my Windows ! 🙂 This program absolutely rox really!!!

      View CommentView Comment
  7. admin says:
    Google Chrome 40.0.2214.111 Google Chrome 40.0.2214.111 Windows 7 x64 Edition Windows 7 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/40.0.2214.111 Safari/537.36

    MobaXterm has a apt-cygwin command which allows you to install any package from CygWin distribution, something convenient to install and use is xloadimage which allows you to open pictures from MobaXterm like with the good old zgv linux tool, here is apt-cyg
    [desktop.hipo] ➤ apt-cyg
    apt-cyg: Installs and removes Cygwin packages.
      "apt-cyg install <package names>" to install packages
      "apt-cyg remove <package names>" to remove packages
      "apt-cyg update" to update setup.ini
      "apt-cyg show" to show installed packages
      "apt-cyg find <patterns>" to find packages matching patterns
      "apt-cyg describe <patterns>" to describe packages matching patterns
      "apt-cyg packageof <commands or files>" to locate parent packages
      "apt-cyg rebase to rebase installed libraries
    Options:
      –localrepo, -l <folder_path> : set local cygwin repository
      –mirror, -m <url>            : set mirror
      –file, -f <file>             : read package names from file
      –noupdate, -u                : don't update setup.ini from mirror
      –help
      –version

     

    View CommentView Comment
  8. admin says:
    Google Chrome 40.0.2214.111 Google Chrome 40.0.2214.111 Windows 7 x64 Edition Windows 7 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/40.0.2214.111 Safari/537.36

    For those who like downloading torrents from console even ctorrent (console torrent) client is available 🙂
     

    [desktop.hipo] ➤ apt-cyg find torrent
    Trying to download file setup.bz2
    Updated setup.ini

    Searching for installed packages matching torrent:

    Searching for installable packages matching torrent:
    ctorrent
    libtorrent
    libtorrent-debuginfo
    libtorrent-devel
    libtorrent18
    rtorrent
    rtorrent-debuginfo
           

    MobaXterm ROX! 🙂                        

    View CommentView Comment
  9. admin says:
    Google Chrome 40.0.2214.111 Google Chrome 40.0.2214.111 Windows 7 x64 Edition Windows 7 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/40.0.2214.111 Safari/537.36

     ➤ apt-cyg –version
    MobApt
    This tool is based on apt-cyg version 0.59
    apt-cyg is initially written by Stephen Jungels

    Released under the GPL.

    View CommentView Comment
  10. admin says:
    Google Chrome 40.0.2214.111 Google Chrome 40.0.2214.111 Windows 7 x64 Edition Windows 7 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/40.0.2214.111 Safari/537.36

    MobaXterm comes with Busybox preinstalled respectively with following UNIX default commands, "out of the box":

    [desktop.hipo] ➤ /bin/busybox.exe –help
    BusyBox v1.22.1 (2014-09-26 07:33:17 CEST) multi-call binary.
    BusyBox is copyrighted by many authors between 1998-2012.
    Licensed under GPLv2. See source distribution for detailed
    copyright notices.

    Usage: busybox [function [arguments]…]
       or: busybox –list
       or: function [arguments]…

            BusyBox is a multi-call binary that combines many common Unix
            utilities into a single executable.  Most people will create a
            link to busybox for each function they wish to use and BusyBox
            will act like whatever it was invoked as.

    Currently defined functions:
            [, [[, ar, awk, base64, basename, bunzip2, bzcat, bzip2, cal, cat, catv, chat, chgrp, chmod, chown, chpasswd, chpst, chroot, chrt, cksum, clear, cmp, comm,
            cp, cpio, crond, crontab, cryptpw, cut, date, dc, dd, devmem, df, diff, dirname, dnsd, dnsdomainname, dos2unix, du, echo, ed, egrep, env, envdir, envuidgid,
            expand, expr, fakeidentd, false, fgrep, find, fold, fsync, ftpd, ftpget, ftpput, fuser, getopt, grep, groups, gunzip, gzip, hd, head, hexdump, hostid,
            hostname, httpd, id, inetd, install, iostat, ipcalc, kill, killall, killall5, less, ln, logger, logname, logread, lpd, lpq, lpr, ls, lsof, lzcat, lzma,
            lzop, lzopcat, makemime, man, md5sum, mesg, microcom, mkdir, mkfifo, mknod, mkpasswd, mktemp, more, mpstat, mt, mv, nc, nice, nmeter, nohup, nslookup, od,
            patch, pgrep, pidof, pipe_progress, pkill, popmaildir, printenv, printf, ps, pscan, pstree, pwd, pwdx, readlink, realpath, reformime, renice, reset, resize,
            rev, rm, rmdir, rpm, rpm2cpio, run-parts, runsv, runsvdir, script, scriptreplay, sed, sendmail, seq, setsid, setuidgid, sha1sum, sha256sum, sha3sum,
            sha512sum, sleep, smemcap, softlimit, sort, split, start-stop-daemon, stat, strings, stty, sum, sv, svlogd, sync, sysctl, syslogd, tac, tail, tar, tcpsvd,
            tee, telnet, telnetd, test, tftp, tftpd, time, timeout, touch, tr, true, tty, ttysize, udpsvd, uname, uncompress, unexpand, uniq, unix2dos, unlzma, unlzop,
            unxz, unzip, usleep, uudecode, uuencode, vlock, volname, watch, wc, wget, which, whoami, whois, xargs, xz, xzcat, yes, zcat

    View CommentView Comment
  11. hipo says:
    Google Chrome 70.0.3538.110 Google Chrome 70.0.3538.110 Windows 10 x64 Edition Windows 10 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/70.0.3538.110 Safari/537.36

    The only downside of mobaxterm is it is shareware and source is clodes for those looking Free Software / Open Source substitute to mobaxterm try out SuperPutty

    View CommentView Comment
  12. hipo says:
    Google Chrome 70.0.3538.110 Google Chrome 70.0.3538.110 Windows 10 x64 Edition Windows 10 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/70.0.3538.110 Safari/537.36

    Other alternative to mobaxterm that is free software is MTPutty (Multi Tabbed Putty)

    View CommentView Comment

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge