The Terminal.app application from OS X is quite good but it lack some functionality that I find really important like: ability to setup SSH profiles for connecting to different servers and ability to setup tunneling.

I know that there is a putty port for OS X but it uses X and is ugly. Is there any other alternative, preferably free?


5 Answers 5


Taken in mind that setting up a tunnel by your self is really easy, you may consider using iTerm2 as a replacement to Terminal.app.

iTerm2 features profiles, so you may connect to any SSH server instantly.

Advantages over Terminal.app:


If you still need to use a gui for tunneling, then you may use an app like:

SSHTunnel or SSH Tunnel Manager

  • +1 for iTerm 2. I have recently moved completely over to iTerm 2.
    – ayaz
    Commented Mar 14, 2011 at 11:24
  • Damn, I’m still using iTerm 0.10 and worry about the lack of updates. iTerm 2, you say? Commented Mar 14, 2011 at 12:15
  • 1
    iTerm 2 generally has nothing specific to do with SSH... iTerm 2 is absolutely fantastic, but it doesn't answer this question, at all. Commented Mar 14, 2011 at 17:17
  • 1
    @VxJasonxV: how does this not answer the question? iTerm 2 supports bookmarks for doing automatic ssh to hosts with a single click. And ssh tunneling is largely just calling ssh with -D <port> -N to open the tunnel on a port.
    – Ian C.
    Commented Mar 14, 2011 at 20:14
  • The implication is in the OPs reference to PuTTY. PuTTY doesn't make you issue raw forwarding commands. I gathered from the question that the OP wants an application to help him generate forwarding rules. Commented Mar 14, 2011 at 22:01

For SSH you just open a local Terminal and type ssh host.

You set up the configuration for each host in ~/.ssh/config following the rules laid down in man ssh.

I guess I don't understand why anyone would need a graphical tool to set up SSH, a command-line program.

  • Because some people just don't have the association of configuration that we do. Commented Mar 14, 2011 at 17:13

I like JellyfiSSH - I've just emailed the kiwi dude that writes it & asked for an option to open new connections in a new tab rather than opening a window for every single connection. Otherwise I like it. Mind you I paid my $4 or whatever it was just to try it.

  • 1
    Hello, and welcome to Ask Different! Your software recommendation would be vastly more useful if you included a link to it. Also, some reasons why you would recommend it (beyond “I like it”), maybe even a short listing of pros and cons, would help the OP to make up his own mind about it.
    – kopischke
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 9:48

Since your free requirement is "preferably", I'd go ahead and recommend a paid one (and rather expensive if you ask me):

A very good App under Windows, now ported to other platforms. SecureCRT.

I do not work for SecureCRT and have nothing to do with it. I used it at an old job.


I have, and continue to recommend JellyFiSSH. But my tone has changed a tad. It used to be free, and it's a very simple, very helpful application. Visual creation of tunnels not terribly unlike PuTTY, and lots of other SSH tweaking capability.

However, it's no longer free. It's now USD$3 on the Mac App Store. Which is by no means a large amount of money, but admittedly kind of unfortunate for users.

Still, it's a wonderful application, and at least 6 of my co-workers swear by it. (And another 3 know the options to pass on the command line, or put into their ~/.ssh/config file.)

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