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How to increase the scroll buffer size in PuTTY

PuTTY Enhanced series

How to increase the scroll buffer size in PuTTY

You may have noticed that PuTTY does not allow you to scroll up very far

This can become annoying when running programs that have lots of output you might need to scroll through and review

Let’s look at an example

We have already logged in to one of our saved SSH sessions

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One command that can sometimes produce a lot of output is ls — the command to list a directory’s contents

1) Type  ls -l /  to list the contents of the root directory. Remember — press Enter to execute a shell command

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2) Now, type the command shown to list the contents of all directories contained by the home directory

3) Scroll up

Here is the command we just typed

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Above that, the output of the previous command

4) Scroll up a bit more

As you can see, we’ve reached the top of the scrollbar, and still can’t see the first command we typed; it’s just barely out of range

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5) Let’s increase the size of the scroll buffer. Close this session and re-open PuTTY to the configuration window

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6) Select the session from the list, then click Load

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7) Then, go to Window

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8) Enter a higher value for Lines of scrollback. We’ll change ours from 200 to 20000

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9) Return to the Session category

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10) Click Save

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11) Finally, press Open

12) Now, log in normally, as seen earlier in this series

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Once logged in, let’s test out the new scroll buffer size

13) Type the command from before, several times. End each line with a shell comment as shown, thus marking each one

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Watch the size of the scrollbar

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14) Now, scroll up

Here’s the first command. Clearly, our change worked!

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This is the end of the tutorial. You now know how to increase the scroll buffer size in PuTTY