Difference Between PuTTY and Cygwin (With Table)

The world of computers today mainly uses the GNU/Linux system in many of their desktops. The main reason for the wide usage of this is its use in video games. With the emerging technologies and fast pace of growth of digital power, it is important to stay up to date with various applications, software, and other existing technology used in computers. 

The development of Android has paved the way for the use of mobile phones and use of other technologies. A small cell phone can now do the work of camera, calculator, telephone and desktop as well. Here are two different applications using in the desktop system in various operating systems. 

PuTTY vs Cygwin

The difference between PuTTY and Cygwin is that PuTTY is a beta software program used in the emulation of videos, while Cygwin is a command-line interface used by Microsoft Windows. Both of them are free, have an open-source, and can be used by all. These are used in operating systems. 

PuTTY is a beta software terminal emulator used to emulate videos in their specific design architecture. It was developed by Simon Tatham in 1998 and is maintained by him to date. It was actually developed for Microsoft Windows but is used by all other operating systems as well. Some of them being macOS and macOSX. It uses the C language in programming and supports various network protocols. 

Cygwin is a command-line interface that has an environment similar to that of Unix. It is compatible with POSIX and uses its standard library. The programming is done in C/C++ language, and it is used by Microsoft Windows. It was developed by a Cygnus software engineer, Steve Chamberlain, and was launched in 1995. The software source is open and free to all. 

Comparison Table Between PuTTY and Cygwin

Parameters of comparisonPuTTYCygwin
MeaningTerminal emulator used as file transfer application and emulates videos.It is a command-line interface have Unix like environment.
Developer(s)Simon TathamSteve Chamberlain, Cygnus Solutions
Launched in8th January, 199818th October 1995
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows, macOS, LinuxMicrosoft Windows
Written inC languageC/C++ language
TypeTerminal emulatorPOSIX standard library, POSIX standard utilities, C standard library
LicenseMIT licenseGNU Lesser General Public License(version 3)

What is PuTTY? 

PuTTY is a terminal emulator which is open and has a free source. It is used as a network file transfer application, and it can support various network protocols, some of them being TCP, SSH, Telnet, and raw socket connection. It came into existence in the year 1998. 

It was developed by a British programmer called Simon Tatham. 

Initially, PuTTY was designed for Microsoft Windows, but now many other operating systems like Mac operating system and Mac Operating SystemXuse this. These are some of the Unix-like platforms which make use of official ports of the system, and the unofficial ports are used by Windows Phone and Windows mobile.

PuTTY is a terminal emulator written in C language. This terminal emulator kind of software program is sometimes known as terminal application and is abbreviated as TTY. The TTY here stands for teletype. PuTTY’s basic function is to emulate a video terminal within its architectural display. It is a beta software developed and run by a British programmer. PuTTY aims to be a multi-functional application that is able to execute in most operating systems. 

What is Cygwin? 

Cygwin is used by Microsoft Windows as a command-line interface. It works with the Microsoft Windows resemblance environment with Unix. Cygwin is compatible with POSIX programming and can be run on Microsoft Windows. The main function of Cygwin is the data integration for the application of Windows and other system resources, applications, and software tools.

It helps in the launch of the Windows application for the Cygwin microenvironment. Cygwin and its tools can be easily accessed by the operating system of Windows. Cygwin is free and open software and can be accessed by all. Cygwin has mainly divided into two parts: A dynamic link library and an extensive collection of software tools and applications.

The dynamic link library acts as a compatibility layer for the application programming interface in a standard C library. The extensive collection of software tools and applications give a Unix-like environment. Cygnus solutions were originally the developer of Cygwin, but it was later acquired by the company called Red Hat. It is now maintained by Cygnus Solutions, Red Hat, and Cygwin project volunteers. 

Main Differences Between PuTTY and Cygwin

  1. PuTTY is a terminal emulator application, while Cygwin is not. Cygwin is a command-line interface that has an environment similar to Unix and is run on Microsoft Windows.
  2. PuTTY is used for TCP, SSH, telnet, and login protocol. Cygwin is used to launch applications in the Cygwin environment. 
  3. PuTTY is used by macOS, while Cygwin is used by Microsoft Windows. 
  4. PuTTY is written in C language, while Cygwin is written in C/C++ language. 
  5. PuTTY was launched in 1998, while Cygwin was launched in 1995.
  6. PuTTY is developed and maintained by Simon Tatham, a British programmer. Cygwin is maintained by Cygnus Solutions, Red Hat, and Cygwin project volunteers. 


The development of different technologies encourages people to use advanced technology as it makes the use of technology easier and becomes user-friendly. The involvement of people in the computer science sector has seen a gradual rise in the last two decades. The development of the digital sector was also seen in the last few couples of years. 

PuTTY is a teletype used as a terminal source for emulating videos in the operating system. Cygwin is used to launch an application in Microsoft Windows in the Cygwin environment. While the first can be used in many operating systems, the latter is used only in Microsoft Windows. Both of the sources of PuTTY and Cygwin are open source and are free. The usage of both of them are varied and are used in a different operating system. 


  1. https://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/~campbell/cs50/putty-cygwin-tutorial.pdf
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/1099-1255(200005/06)15:3%3C331::AID-JAE558%3E3.0.CO;2-G
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