“End” and “Home” keys not working in Putty

To cure my boredom, I’m posting an inconclusive fix to an issue (or feature?) I’ve experienced using the PuTTY terminal emulator/SSH client for Microsoft Windows. It’s worth mentioning that PuTTY Tray is the version I prefer – it’s patched to include something that detects URLs and makes them clickable links, a feature frivolously left out from many terminal emulators designed to run in desktop environments on personal computers. On GNU/Linux and other Unix-like systems with X11, clickable URLs are, to my knowledge, found by default in Gnome Terminal. The same feature may be available for Mac OSX users in iTerm, but I have no way of checking that.

The problem I’ve had with Putty is that the “End” key won’t work, at least not while connected to various Linux based systems where $TERM is set to xterm. In Putty, “Home” will also not work, unless I set the "Terminal - Keyboard - The Home and End Keys" option to rxvt.

I haven’t solved the problem, but some nice person in #windows on FreeNode told me to use the key combination Ctrl+E to produce the behaviour expected from the “End” key and Ctrl+A for the “Home” key. This works for me.

Actual IRC quote (more keywords for the bots, I guess):

“I tend to only use C-a C-e, they work all around (emacs editing mode) in shells.. and I am an emacs user so.. :P. Besides, this laptop has really badly positioned end/home keys”

I’ve lived in Windows XP Home Edition on my home desktop for the last few months. It hasn’t been a very pleasant experience: Windows is feeling increasingly like the microwave meal of desktop operating systems – easy and quick to use, if you don’t give your environment much thought, but unhealthy and unsophisticated in the long run. As usual, it’s the availability of third party (entertainment related) software and stupid hardware compatibility issues that make me play with dark forces.


  1. filodej says:

    you probably have a solution now, It’s quite some time you wrote the post, but still.

    I had the same problem (the End key did not work, Home key did) and in my case the solution was to change the Putty configuration, namely Terminal/Keyboard/The Function keys and keypad from ESC[n~ setting to Linux.

    Hope this helps in your case as well.

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