When comparing PuTTY vs tmux, the Slant community recommends PuTTY for most people. In the question“What are the best terminal emulators for Windows?” PuTTY is ranked 9th while tmux is ranked 16th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro De facto standard client for SSH, Telnet and Rlogin
PuTTY is one of the oldest and most popular clients. It has earned the trust of a great number of users over a long period by being reliable, offering useful features and helpful support. It got into the 15 Essential Open Source Tools for Windows Admins list by InfoWorld.
Pro Can be used on any Windows computer, even without admin rights
Pro Source code available
Full source available. Compile and modify it yourself.
Pro Lightweight and portable
Doesn't require much resources (memory and hard-disk). Can even be run on a system by just downloading without install.
Pro Preserve the state
As long as you don't close your session, you may even lose your SSH connection, it'll keep your state just as it was. So you can resume where you left off (via
Pro Maximize screen space
As a tiling window manager, it'll make use of all the space. As you have multiple workspaces and you can resize, etc. you can adjust to see what matters most.
Pro Easily split panes
There is a keyboard shortcut that makes it easy to split a window and create more panes.
Pro Mouse support
Mouse support can optionally be enabled, allowing e.g. scrolling with the mouse wheel, or switching panes with mouse clicks.
Pro Windows linked to sessions
tmux calls the individual shell instances windows. They are displayed like tabs in the status line. These windows can be shared between different sessions, so that any given shell instance can be in any number of tmux sessions used for different purposes or by different users. This allows configurations like the following example: User A: wAB, wA1, wA2; User B: wB1, wAB, wB2
Open ~/.tmux.conf to get started. You can customize keybindings, the bottom status bar, color schemes, the clock screen, your time zone, and more.
Pro Only need to learn a few keyboard shortcuts and commands to make much headway
Pro Frequently updated
Tmux is in a state of constant development. Updates are frequent and bug reports usually get an answer within days.
Con Can not save passwords
Anyway, you can use "PuTTYgen" to generate a key pair, then use "Pageant" to do a password-less SSH remote login.
Con Lacks features
It is JUST an SSH client. There are many other options with built in X-servers, Multitabbing, etc.
Con Ugly design, too simple
Looks very dated. Does the basic functions very well, but not much more.
Con No global settings
If you want to change a setting for all your connections, you'd have to do it individually.
Con Organizing sessions
Does not have features for organizing session connections (like folders). If you have 5-10 connections that's fine. But if there are 30-50 connections - that becomes a nightmare.
Con Only one session
Cannot open a second session in the same window.
Con Tedious logging/tracing
Its tedious to set up logging and tracing (e.g. for serial connections).
Con No login scripting
Con Poorly designed key binding
Counter-intuitive keyboard shortcuts make tmux very hard to use and learn.
Con Bad scrolling support
Con No builtin telnet or serial support
It's considered bloat by the maintainers and for this reason there's no builtin support for them.