C-Kermit Reviews

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"What Is Kermit? by Chiaki Ishikawa

From "When You Say 'Jump,' Kermit Asks, 'How High?'" by Alan Winston, Micro Times, Issue 222, 11 June 2001:

"The Kermit that runs on every other platform is C-Kermit... As for a file transfer, if you've got Kermit on both ends, you can transfer file protections even between unlike systems. That is, if you're copying something that the whole world has read access to from a UNIX system, the protection it'll end up with on a VMS system is the same. Kermit is also willing to transfer entire directory trees and keep the hierarchy intact, again, even between unlike systems, which not all FTP clients and servers can do. It doesn't even require that the transfer be over a serial line; Kermit's smart enough to make a connection over TCP/IP and run the same way.

Second, it does a lot more than file transfer and terminal emulation. There is a very sophisticated, built-in scripting language that combines with the other capabilities to allow you to do a variety of things.

Do you want your Linux box to page you if it's almost out of disk space? You can use UNIX system management tools to detect the condition and Kermit to issue an alphanumeric page. Through the scripting language and its mastery of modems, it implements the Telocator Alphanumeric Protocol (TAP), widely supported by paging companies.

A lot of paging companies will just let you e-mail your page to them over the Internet, but if you want to get paged because your machine fell off the Internet, that won't do you much good - you need to dial out, and Kermit knows how.

Another problem that comes up in real life fairly often is the necessity to automate an FTP file transfer. Some systems prepare a file that you need to process on the system you manage. For example, you need to fetch and merge the logs from several different Web servers. You can get the logs with FTP, but if something went wrong you might end up with the previous log, which would pollute your merged log file and mess up the statistics you're going to produce.

FTP clients are usually pretty bad at telling you what went wrong, and most of them don't have very robust scripting. Kermit now has a built-in FTP client, which is fully scriptable using the same language as the other capabilities. It already had a telnet client, which made scripting log-in sessions pretty straightforward. . .

"Some of the first news I have from the New Year is very good indeed. As of January 1, one of the oldest "free" software projects has become actually free enough to be discovered by the Linux community. This software, both brand new and almost 20 years old, is one of the most flexible, most useful programs I've ever used -- truly a hidden gem, one that I now hope doesn't stay hidden for long." -- Even Leibovitch, ZDnet Enterprise, 11 Jan 2000.

From Sys Admin magazine, July 1997 issue, pages 19-25: "C-Kermit: More than Just a File Transfer Protocol", by Jim Dennis:
"C-Kermit is practically synonymous with connectivity. The addition of TCP/IP support brings a number of the features from traditional serial communications packages to our world of telnet and rlogin.

"C-Kermit provides a consistent way for sys admins to handle communications regardless of whether they are done via modem, null modem, or network connection. It will work on just about any imaginable UNIX system and it is compatible with versions that run on most other platforms.

"With Columbia's continuing support and development, C-Kermit will likely be ported to new systems as they become available and that support new protocols and devices. I personally think that every professional sys admin should take a look at [Using C-Kermit, second edition], and get a copy of the package from Columbia University's Web site."

Clarence A. Dold, MIS Director, Ameritel, quoted in Digital Age, May 1997, page 8:
"The field technicians use Kermit for upload and download of daily job data. They have the option of selecting Kermit, XModem, or ZModem, and find that Kermit is the most robust with regards to poor quality phone lines they encounter... The scripting I develop on UNIX [with C-Kermit] for execution on MS-DOS or Windows 95, is accomplishing work that I just can't manage with any other tool, short of starting from scratch."

Mark W. Wright, Wright III Foods, quoted in HP Professional, May 1997, page 16:
"I have not logged an error in polled data that was attributable to Kermit in over 10 years of polling [Burger King franchises], and this would be something over 25,000 transfers."

CLICK HERE to see a detailed comparison of C-Kermit with UUCP from a user of both.


Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2003 10:19:47 -0600
From: jesus <jesus@ssn.ssn.unam.mx>
To: kermit-support@columbia.edu
Subject: Re: rlogin problem

(Tech-support material omitted...)   To me it has been an honor to receive your advice and your attention. The Kermit program is the key application to transfer data at the National Earthquake Information Service of Mexico.

Thanks a lot.

From: Arthur Marsh <arthur.marsh@internode.on.net>
Subject: In praise of binaries
Date: Fri, 03 Jan 2003 01:08:05 +1030
Newsgroups: comp.protocols.kermit.misc

Thanks again to the people that make C-Kermit binaries available, I was able yesterday to help someone with a compiler-less Irix 6.5 SGI machine transfer some directories trees from a Solaris 7 SPARC machine in short order, with the person being confident to use Kermit for the same process again, unassisted.


From: Kirk Turner-Rustin <ktrustin@owu.edu>
Organization: Ohio Wesleyan University
Subject: Re: C-Kermit 8 with ext ssh: Terminal height anomaly
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2002 11:37:30 -0400
Newsgroups: comp.security.unix

We've been using C-Kermit 8.0.201 for TLS encrypted telnet sessions (telnet over stunnel) for a year or so now. Yesterday I started experimenting with C-Kermit's ssh feature, whereby Kermit runs an external ssh client to provide encrypted connections, and I ran into a weird screen anomaly...

I started C-Kermit in a normally sized (80 char by 25 line) X terminal application (e.g., xterm), then ran ssh from the C-Kermit> prompt and logged in to a host. After that, if I changed the X terminal window's height (e.g., from 25 to 50 lines), then ran certain applications (e.g., vi, pine, top) on the ssh host, those applications acted as if my X terminal window was still set to 25 line height. That is, only the first 25 lines of the document in vi was displayed instead of filling the entire height of my X terminal window. I encountered this with C-Kermit running on RH Linux 7.2 and AIX 4.3.3 client platforms connecting to both OpenSSH 2.9p2 (on RH 7.2) and SSH Secure Shell 3.2.0 (on AIX 4.3) server daemons.

Within minutes of reporting the problem to Kermit support, none other than Kermit co-inventor Frank da Cruz responded and within a day had modified the C-Kermit source to fix the problem. I find such dedication to end users to be very gratifying, on top of being attached to such a powerful and flexible secure communication client.

For those who have encountered this same problem, the patched C-Kermit source is at http://www.columbia.edu/kermit/ckdaily.html The fixed C-Kermit version number is 8.0.205.

For those who haven't yet had the joy of using C-Kermit for secure encrypted TCP communication, I commend it to your attention.

Kirk Turner-Rustin
Ohio Wesleyan University

From: wa1hoz@pandora.orbl.net (Gerry Belanger)
Subject: Another Kermit success story
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2001 20:33:16 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.protocols.kermit.misc

Our company has been including C-Kermit with our UNIX based telecom equipment for many years. The ability Kermit gives us to update systems in the field over a modem connection is one of the elements to good customer support.

Earlier this year we had an incident where an engineer inadvertantly left up overnight a dialup connection from a system in our Connecticut facility to a system in Texas. What we needed was an inactivity timeout to disconnect idle sessions.

So we contacted kermit-support. We were told that this function existed in Kermit-95, but not C-kermit, and did we want them to implement it? Shortly thereafter, this feature was added to the C-Kermit 8.0 beta. Our engineer is now happy again.

This kind of support is why we will continue to license C-Kermit for our systems.

I would like to thank Frank da Cruz and Jeffrey Altman for the outstanding support we have received from the Kermit Project. I would also like to thank them for the opportunity to participate in beta testing C-Kermit and Kermit-95.

Gerry Belanger
Newtown, CT.

From: "Schuh, Richard" <rlschuh@herff-jones.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2001 09:33:23 -0500
Subject: C-Kermit

We use kermit in a variety of ways with very positive results on AIX, HP-UX and VAX platforms. I have continuously running scripts that transfer descriptive text files between our AIX business system and five VAX production systems that use the text files to communicate information about photograph density, cropping, size, etc. to optical photographic printers driven by the VAX systems.

I have been using the system for approximately two years now via both serial and tcp/ip connections. I estimate that my kermit scripts are responsible for moving information used in the production of over 3 million packages of school photographs annually. By using the server mode directly instead of having to navigate through the menu that initially comes up on K95 host mode, I will be able to use almost the identical program for this NT based server as I have for the VAX's in the past. This is a new system that is fully digital from input to output and could use NFS or TCP/IP between the legacy business system and the NT server, bypassing kermit, except that the error correction and logging works so reliably, that we will continue to use KERMIT for the foreseeable future.

To: kermit-support@columbia.edu
Subject: Thank You
From: "Stephen R. Shepard" <sshep@juno.com>
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 11:36:37 EDT

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thank you for producing such a high-quality software product for so many years. Yes, I've been using a personal copy of DOS Kermit steadily for well over 10 years and late last week downloaded C-Kermit for Linux. I have a very successful install in place on the Linux platform and plugged into X-Windows.

In addition to sending you this e-mail thank you, I also ordered the manual for C-Kermit. I'm a software developer for over 30 years now and finally felt compelled to express appreciation for the use of a truly useful product from which I've benefitted greatly.

Kermit on my PC through the Maryland Public Library System's Sailor web-site gives me Internet access via local telephone connection at no cost (Kermit is free, Sailor is free, the phone call is free). File downloads via the Sailor connection only occur with Kermit, You can see that Kermit really has presence here in Baltimore.

Thank you,


From: Peter Eichhorn <petere@assyst-intl.com>
Subject: The Taste of C-Kermit :-)
To: fdc@watsun.cc.columbia.edu
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 99 19:36:09 MEZ

Since our company has taken a fancy to C-Kermit we have found more and more where we can use it. After we discovered how easily C-Kermit can handle all kinds of serial devices C-Kermit is now used not only for:

but also for testting, supporting, maintaining: and also for: and lots more. Each day we find a new situation where C-Kermit can help us get our job done.

Thanks to the C-Kermit support group who helps us to use C-Kermit in the way we want to use it.

- Peter Eichhorn

Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 16:27:57 -0500
From: Charles M Richmond <cmr@iisc.com>
Organization: Integrated International Systems Corporation
Newsgroups: comp.unix.programmer
Subject: Re: modem communication script

Just thought I would throw some overdue kudos your way. Back about 6 years ago, I had a customer with one SCO server and a bunch of PCs on serial lines (via Digiboard). After failing to talk them into upgrading the whole setup, I set out to make things work for them. They had some really old curses based screen programs that wouldn't work on any of the supposed vt220 emulations. But they did work on yours! I recently built a new SCO system for them to hook up to the internet and have done many small consults there over the years and the one stable bit that never needed looking after was the Ckermit on SCO and on the Windoze machines and the rock solid terminal emulation. Thanks for all the years and effort that you have put into that product and into the documentation.


*  Charles Richmond    Integrated International Systems Corporation   *
*  UNIX Internals, I18N, L10N, X, Realtime Imaging, and  Custom S/W   *
*  One Longfellow Place Suite 3309 , Boston , Ma. USA 02114-2431      *

From: "Dann O. Smith" <NoSpam-dsmit13@tisd.net>
Newsgroups: comp.os.qnx
Subject: Re: Telnet communication from nt4 to qnx
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 22:36:20 -0600

I've been using QNX4.23-Kermit 6.0 and Kermit95 for about six months for dial-up and tcp/ip telnet/rlogin support of several QNX and SunOS base systems. The Kermit95 QNX/QANSI emulation's are perfect... Since being involved with QNX the $54 bucks I spent on Kermit95 (Using C-Kermit + K95 books) is the best investment I've made.

NOT an advertisement !!!

Systems/E&IC Tech.
CSW Corp.

Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 22:30:21 -0400 (EDT)
From: steve d johnston
To: kermit-support@columbia.edu
Subject: Thanks

I wanted to thank you for helping me get C-Kermit installed on my new Linux system. I wrote to you asking for help with the installation, and your advice helped me get Kermit onto my system really quickly. I am using Caldera's open Linux (RedHat); your suggestion to use the Red Hat Package Manger was right on target: It put Kermit onto my system so quickly that I was sure that I had done something wrong! :-)

Thus far, my Kermit experience has been excellent! I really enjoy using the software; it has a really pleasing elegance about it. In addition, the more I read the manual, the more I amazed at what it can do. In fact, this message come to you courtesy of Kermit! I use Kermit to dial into a UNIX platform IP here in Brookline, MA (the World). Great service; They fully support Kermit.

Keep up the good work!

Thanks again,

Steve Johnston, Needham, MA

From: Ed_Wilts@bc.sympatico.ca
Newsgroups: comp.os.vms
Subject: Re: Modem File Transfers - a newbie question.
Date: 23 Oct 97 08:45:53 PDT

: Although I have a fair bit of experience with UNIX and DOS
: environments, I am new to the world of OpenVMS and the Alpha platform.
: What I need to do is to be able to transfer binary files from one
: OpenVMS machine to another via modem. I have tried Kermit, but what I
: really want to be able to do is use something like X-Modem or Z-Modem,
: or FTP over a modem connection.

You probably really want C-Kermit. This is a LOT faster than XModem, and in many cases faster than ZModem, assuming that you've taken the time to read the documentation and tune it for your particular case. It's extremely reliable - a lot more so than XModem! Kermit will [have] absolutely no problem outperforming FTP.

Ed Wilts

C-Kermit Reviews / Columbia University / kermit@columbia.edu / Last update: 11 June 2007