As of K95 Version: 2.1
This File Last Updated: Sat Dec 7 11:55:24 2002



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Is Kermit 95 Buzzword-1.0 Compliant?
Most likely. It is Year-2000 Compliant, Euro Compliant, it uses all the latest open security standards and libraries. It implements numerous open Internet protocols. It is Common Off The Shelf commercial software (COTS) and therefore automatically complies with most procurement rules. It is approved for export to all but the seven embargoed countries. For vendor qualifications and data, CLICK HERE.

What exactly is the documentation for Kermit 95?
Unlike most other Windows-based communication software, K95 is not a Windows-only product, but just one of a suite of similar programs for many platforms: Linux, AIX, VMS, Solaris, etc. Collectively, these programs are called C-Kermit (a Kermit program written in the C programming language). Most of the features of these programs are shared and identical across all platforms. These features are documented in:

Using C-Kermit
A 622-page book describing C-Kermit 6.0 (December 1996) and the platform-independent aspects of the concurrent version of K95 (1.1.8) including the command language, serial and network connections, file transfer, client/server operation, character set conversion, and script writing for automation, plus sections on troubleshooting, tutorials on data communications, and tons of reference material. Until a new edition is published, this book remains the fundamental reference for the command and scripting language of C-Kermit and Kermit 95. You can also find a scripting tutorial with lots of examples HERE.

C-Kermit 7.0 Supplement
Thorough documentation of the new features of C-Kermit 7.0 (January 2000) and the platform-independent aspects of K95 1.1.17, which was the first version to include secure authentication and encryption, and in which the command language was greatly extended by the addition of "switches" (command modifiers), and which was the first version to support Unicode (the Universal Character Set), plus other changes too numerous to list here.

C-Kermit 8.0 Supplement
Thorough documentation of the new features of C-Kermit 8.0 (February 2002) and the platform-independent aspects of K95 2.1, principally the new FTP, SSH, and HTTP clients or interfaces, plus tons of scripting improvements.

At some point a new edition of Using C-Kermit will be issued, incorporating the new material.

Then, each major C-Kermit platform (Unix, VMS, Windows, ...) has its own platform-specific manual. The manual for Kermit 95 is included with K95 itself, and is accessible from Kermit 95 by:

The Kermit 95 manual concentrates on the Dialer (how to graphically set up and launch connections) and the Terminal Emulator (terminal types, scrollback, key mapping, colors, local printing, character sets, etc).

In addition to the K95 manual, K95 also includes a great deal of other documentation, including the C-Kermit 7.0 and 8.0 manual supplements, linked to from the K95 manual. You can also find a brief tutorial for K95 HERE and another for C-Kermit HERE.

Those who purchased shrink-wrapped copies of K95 through version 1.1.17 received a printed copy of Using C-Kermit. Those who purchased shrinkwrapped copies of K95 1.1.20 received a PDF version of the book on CDROM. Kermit 95 2.1 should be ready for shrinkwrapped retail delivery in mid or late November 2002, and is always available by Internet download. Electronically delivered versions of K95 do not include the Using C-Kermit book because:

  1. It would triple the size of the download;
  2. It would increase the price, since each copy of the book (printed or electronic) must be paid for;
  3. The new GUI version of K95 does not require users to know the command language for normal operation.

This is the primary reason that the cost of the electronically delivered version of K95 is so low. The shrinkwrapped version, when it is ready, will have a higher price.

TO COMPLICATE MATTERS... The Kermit 95 2.1 shrinkwrap, when it is available (late December 2002 / early January 2003), will NOT include the PDF version of Using C-Kermit; instead, it will be downloadable at no extra cost to all those who purchase the 2.1 shrinkwrap (this was the result of negotiations between the two different publishers involved, one of which has changed hands since the K95 1.1.20 shrinkwrap was published). It is expected that the PDF version of Using C-Kermit will also be available for purchase as an "e-book" from the publisher, Digital Press, or an authorized agent; the details are not yet available as of this writing (Nov 2002).

What's going on with the OS/2 version?
K95 2.1 is available for IBM OS/2 3.0 and later with certain restrictions: Console only (no GUI); no SSH, no Kerberos. K95 1.1.21 and 2.0 were not available for OS/2, but we did succeed in building version 2.1 for OS/2.

Why isn't Kermit 95 free?
Kermit 95 is developed, documented, and supported by full-time computer professionals at Columbia University's nonprofit Kermit Project. Revenue from Kermit 95 sales and licenses is the only source of funding for its continued development and support. Paying for Kermit 95 gives you the right to the time, attention, support, and respect of Kermit professional staff, which is something you can't count on with free software nor, as some of our users tell us, with much commercial software either. For more about Kermit and free software, CLICK HERE.

Why is the product (still) called Kermit 95?
All Kermit Project software has "Kermit" in its name. Kermit 95 was originally written in 1995 for Windows 95, and was therefore given the obvious name. However, unlike Microsoft, we chose to stick with the original name as new versions came out because it's quite difficult to refer to a product generically, regardless of version, when each version has a different name. Those who feel that the "95" in "Kermit 95" dates it should think of the "95" as a part number or model designation rather than a year or version number, and of K95 as a faithful and effective tool in the spirit of the similarly named P38 (Army tool for opening C-rations).

As for "Kermit"... This name was chosen on a whim back in 1981, before we had any idea that Kermit protocol or software would ever escape the bounds of Columbia University or remain current and popular for decades. The whim, in turn, was based on (a) a Muppets calandar on the wall when we were searching for a name, and (b) the fact that some of us had small children addicted to The Muppet Show. Although a name like "Kermit" might have certain drawbacks in today's fast-paced, high-powered software marketplace, it also has (we think) a certain charm and simplicity: It's easy to say, easy to spell, and utterly lacking in hyperbole and condescension. But if you prefer, feel free to refer to K95 as:

UltraHyperTurboOpenEnterpriseSmartSecureE-CommerceInternetPowerPro-2002 Gold

Can I use MS-DOS Kermit instead of Kermit 95?
Under certain conditions, yes, but not for TCP/IP connections, not with Plug-n-Play or PCMCIA modems, not with Winmodems or RPI modems, not with ISDN modems, not with nonstandard communication ports, not with devices that are owned by TAPI, etc. Even then, remember it is a DOS program, not a Windows or OS/2 program, and can not take advantage of, or access, special features of Windows or OS/2 -- long filenames, the mouse, the clipboard, secure connections, etc. If it works for you, meets your requirements, and requires no technical support then by all means use it on your own PC or within your company, but remember, you can't furnish MS-DOS Kermit to customers or clients without a license, any more than you could K95 or C-Kermit.

Do Kermit 95 and the Dialer work in all 32-bit varieties of Windows?
Yes, except for Windows CE (Pocket PC). The same executables run on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, and XP on Intel (PC) architecture. In previous releases, K95 was also available for Windows NT on the Alpha and PowerPC architectures, but those Windows versions have been discontinued.

Why not Windows CE or Pocket PC?
Because Windows CE and Pocket PC do not offer the full range of Win-32 APIs. Many of those that are missing are required by Kermit 95.

Can K95 be used with speech and Braille devices?
Kermit 95 should be compatible with any speech or Braille device that can be used in a Console or GUI window. Typical settings are:

  set bell audible                     ; Make sure Ctrl-G is audible
  set terminal margin-bell on 72       ; Margin bell like typewriter
  set terminal statusline off          ; For scroll detection
  set terminal screen-update smooth    ; Or "fast" - depends on screen reader
  set terminal screen-optimization on  ; This is the default anyway
  set terminal mouse off               ; Might be required by some readers

In addition, certain keys might need to be set to \Kignore, so they can be used as controls for the screen reader or Braille software. Depending on the specific screen reader, these might be the keys on the numeric keypad. The method for doing all this is illustrated in the ASAP.KSC file, for setting K95 up to be used with the ASAP screen reader.

For related resources, see our links page.


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Kermit 95 2.1 is distributed as a full upgrade installation to those who have earlier K95 versions, no patching required.

Kermit 95 1.1.17 and later are distributed on CDROM. Version 1.1.16 was distributed only in patch form. Versions 1.1.15 and earlier were distributed on diskette. Since the last diskette release was in 1997, we've removed the longwinded discussion of problems with diskettes and diskette drives from the FAQ.

CDROM installation
In Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP, loading the Kermit 95 CDROM into your CDROM drive should activate the Windows "Autorun" feature: a few moments after Windows has compiled the CDROM directory, it pops up the Kermit 95 installation procedure automatically. If this does not happen to you, access the CDROM as though it were a regular disk, CD to the I386 (Windows/Intel) or other appropriate directory, and start the Setup program.

My PC doesn't have a CDROM drive!
If you purchased the K95 retail package but your PC does not have a CDROM drive, please contact us for instructions.

I downloaded the K95 2.1 upgrade but it won't install!
Did you download the right upgrade? Read the download page carefully to make sure you picked the right file to download. If the upgrade file failed to execute at all, be sure you downloaded it binary mode and that the download completed successfully. Remember that you can't install the upgrade unless you have a previous Kermit version installed on the same PC. If the installer can't find it, it gives you an opportunity to specify its location. If you are sure you have the right file, but still can't install the upgrade (e.g. because the installer can't find your old K95 version or doesn't accept its registration information), contact us.

I installed K95 2.x but the icons didn't appear on the desktop
Click your mouse on the desktop and then press the F5 key to refresh the desktop, or right-click on the desktop and choose Refresh.

I can't reinstall from my original K95 media!
In case you uninstalled K95 for some reason and then want to reinstall it (e.g. so you can upgrade to K95 2.1), you might run into problems. For example, if you bought Kermit 95 prior to version 1.1.17, it was distributed on diskette; maybe you don't have a diskette drive any more. Another problem is that the K95 SETUP program for version 1.1.17 and earlier doesn't work on disks larger than 2GB. In such cases, contact us.

I lost my serial number!
If you sent in your registration card, we have a record of your serial number. If not, you'll have to provide convincing proof of purchase before we can help you.


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The Dialer is the graphical front end for Kermit 95. It is built using a portable GUI builder that creates versions for both Windows and OS/2.

Do I have to use the Dialer?
No. If you are comfortable typing commands (or creating command files, macros or scripts) for Kermit 95, you don't need to use the Dialer at all. The Dialer is recommended to newcomers to Kermit, since it makes it easy to set up any kind of connection. Some Kermit veterans prefer to use Kermit 95 directly.

What happened to the nice entry notebooks that we had in K95 1.1?
All the new pages (SSH, GUI, FTP, etc) made the notebook too big for Windows 9x/ME. For a detailed explaination CLICK HERE.

Why does it take a few seconds for the Dialer to start?

How do I get rid of unwanted Dialer entries?
You can not remove an individual predefined entry with the Remove button. However you can hide all the predefined entries by going into the Dialer's Options menu, selecting View, and then unchecking "Pre-defined". If you want to keep some of the predefined entries, just edit the ones you want to keep; this makes copies of them that are still visible even if you uncheck Pre-Defined. NOTE: This question is largely irrelevant in K95 1.1.21 and later, in which all the old and mostly defunct predefined entries (hundreds of them) were retired.

What are all the .DAT files?
Most of .DAT files in the Kermit 95 directory are used by the K95 Dialer:

Contains the GUI screen definitions for the Dialer. It must not be renamed or deleted. A particular version of K95DIAL.EXE is keyed to a particular version of the DIALER.DAT file.

Contains the preloaded Dialer entries. This file is "read-only", primarily because it contains templates that are used for constructing other entries. (NOTE: In version 1.1.20 and earlier, this file contained hundreds of BBS and Telnet sites that by now are defunct; these have been removed to reduce the clutter -- if you need them send us e-mail.

(If any) Contains the preloaded Dialer entries for your organization. This file can be created by organizations that have K95 bulk or site licenses. Like DIALINF.DAT, this file is read-only.

Contains (a) entries that you have added; (b) preloaded entries that you have edited; and (c) the information from your File and Options pages.

The remaining .DAT files are associated with the GUI setup and registration programs.

Why is my K95CUSTOM.INI ignored when I launch a connection from the Dialer?
Your K95.INI and K95CUSTOM.INI files are indeed executed, but the commands that come from the Dialer are executed after them, so when there is a conflict the Dialer settings override the INI-file settings. Make sure your Dialing Options menu notebook contains the desired settings, and also the notebook pages for the entries in question. The primary purpose of the INI files in K-95 is for when you start K95.EXE without the Dialer (or for key or macro definitions that you always want to be in effect and that don't conflict with settings made in the Dialer). As a last resort, you can enter commands into the Login Script text box in the Dialer entry -- the commands in this box are executed last.


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Why does Kermit 95 take a few seconds to start?
K95.EXE can take a while to start because:

If you use K95 to make different types of connections, not just TAPI, take the TAPI-related commands out of your K95CUSTOM.INI file.

The following command-line options can be used to tell K95 not to load certain DLLs; this can speed startup:

These numbers are powers of 2, representing single bits, and can be added to form a "bit mask" of options. Thus "-# 30" means don't load any of the above. On a 90 MHz PC, starting K95 1.1.16 with "-# 30" took about 1 second; without it about 4 seconds. You can omit the network DLLs if you will not be making network connections. You can omit TAPI if (a) you will not be making dialout connections, or (b) you will be using COM1 or COM2 directly rather than the TAPI modem device. You can omit Kerberos DLLs if you will not be making secure connections with Kerberos authentication. You can omit the XYZMODEM DLLs if you will not be transferring files with XMODEM, YMODEM, or ZMODEM.

Why does it take K95 several seconds to exit?
K95.EXE might take a while to exit because:

It can take Windows 20-30 seconds to release the TAPI device if your modem is disconnected or powered off. When it is connected and turned on, it still can take 5-10 seconds. That's Windows, not Kermit, being slow. If you can use the SET PORT COMx / SET MODEM TYPE xxx interface instead of the TAPI one (which is possible only for standard COM ports, not Winmodems, etc), opening and closing of modems will be faster.

How Can I Make K95 Start in a given screen location?
The GUI version (K95G) accepts --xpos: and --xpos: command-line options. Arguments are in pixels and so depend on your PC's graphics resolution. You can put these in a .bat file or a shortcut. The GUI version also has a SET GUI WINDOW POSITION x y command to let you specify the screen location in a script. You can also specify the startup location for any connection in your Dialer database, on each entry's GUI Settings page.

How can I run a K95 script with arguments?
From a command window or Batch file:

  k95 scriptfilename arg1 arg2 arg3 ... 

Specify the full pathname of K95 (or K95G) if it is not in the PATH. Specify the full pathname of the script file if it is not in the current directory.

In a shortcut to K95 or K95G you can put the script file name and arguments after the Kermit 95 executable in the Target box of the Shortcut properties.

In a shortcut to a Kermit 95 script file, you can put the arguments to the script after the script file name in the Target box of the Shortcut properties.

From the Kermit 95 prompt, or within a Kermit 95 script, you can use the TAKE command, followed by the script file name, followed by its arguments.

How can I mix K95 arguments and script arguments on the command line?
Give the script file name as the first command-line argument. Then the K95 command-line arguments. Then an equal sign (=), and finally the arguments for the script. Example:

  k95g oofa.ksc --xpos:500 --ypos:500 = "This is script arg 1" scriptarg2

How can I run a K95 script by clicking on a URL?
Just make sure the script file name ends in ",ksc". Then use a URL (ftp:, http:, file:, whatever) that points to the script. Examples:

How can I start K95 minimized?
You can do this in a Shortcut -- edit the properties and Choose Minimized (Console version only, not GUI). You can also start the Console version minimized with the Windows command START /MIN. This is useful for running Kermit scripts that don't need to interact with the user:

  @start /w /min "C:\Program Files\Kermit 95 2.1\k95.exe" scriptname = args...

Can I run K95 in a shell window of Windows EMACS?
Yes. You have to use the Console version (K95.EXE, not K95G.EXE). Start it like this (96 = 32 + 64, the codes for "use standard input" and "use standard output"):

  k95 -# 96

You can use it to make any kind of connection that you could make from a regular window: Telnet, SSH, Dialout, FTP, etc, and you can transfer files over the connection in the normal way.

The only fly in the ointment is that your keystrokes are read by EMACS, not K95, and EMACS intercepts Alt keys, F keys, and all Control characters, and furthermore, doesn't pass your keystrokes to Kermit until after you press the Enter key, so command-line editing (e.g. Ctrl-U), completion (Esc or Tab), ?-help, etc, don't work as they do when K95 has "direct access" to the keyboard. Escaping back from CONNECT mode is a bit tricky too; you have to type:

  Ctrl-Q Ctrl-] c CR

That's Ctrl-Q followed by Ctrl-Rightbracket, then the letter C, then press the Enter key. In fact, every control character is intercepted by EMACS, so to pass it through to Kermit you have to quote it with Ctrl-Q, and you probably also have to hit Enter afterwards.

And of course, when K95 is using stdio, there is no terminal emulation, so you can't (for example) run EMACS in your CONNECT session to the host :-)

But on the plus side, your CONNECT session is an EMACS buffer, so you can move around in it, edit it, etc, with regular EMACS commands.


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Will K95 let my PC accept incoming calls?
Sure. Of course you can't dial and log in to Windows and get a text-based shell like you can do with VMS, Unix, and other conventional operating systems. But you can still set up Kermit on Windows to accept incoming calls and provide a file-transfer and management service. There are various ways to do this, of which the most user-friendly, called host mode, is described HERE.

You can also write a simple Kermit script that awaits and handles incoming calls, something like:

set port tapi
set speed 57600
set flow rts/cts
while true {
    cd some-directory
    answer 0
    if success {

Obviously many variations and refinements are possible.

SET PORT COM3 doesn't work!
SET PORT COM1, COM2, COM3, etc, works only with real serial ports. It won't work with Winmodems and the like, because they are not COM ports. Use SET PORT TAPI rather than SET PORT COMx to access such devices.

Can K95 dial my ISP?
Because of Kermit 95's flexibility and programmability, many people ask us if there is a way that Kermit 95 can be used to make Dial Up Networking connections, in place of the standard Windows way. Unfortunately, the answer is no; Microsoft does not provide a way to let an application make a connection to a PPP or SLIP server and then turn the connection over to the TCP/IP stack. The only way in Windows 95/98/ME or NT to make a SLIP or PPP connection is with the built-in Dialup Networking dialer or (in Windows NT) RAS. OS/2, on the other hand, allows this and Kermit 95 for OS/2 (Kermit/2) has this feature for both PPP and SLIP.

How can I make credit-card calls?
This applies when you have defined a dialing location in TAPI that includes a credit card number.

If you are using the K95 Dialer:

  1. In the Dialer's main menu, choose Options.
  2. Choose Dialing.
  3. Make sure that both TAPI Modem Dialing and TAPI Phone Number Conversions are checked.

Then when placing a call, make sure:

If the phone number is not in portable format, neither Kermit nor TAPI will be able to apply any prefixes or suffixes, including the credit card number. (This process is referred to as "Phone number conversions" in the menus.)

To create a new TAPI Location that uses a Credit Card:

Now when you dial, these dialing rules -- including the calling card number -- will be used.

Can K95 make connections through the parallel port?
In Windows NT, no; in Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, and XP, yes. In Windows NT, it is not possible to "set port lpt1" -- i.e. to use a parallel port as a communications device, because bidirectional parallel ports are not supported by the NT drivers. But they are in Windows 95, 98, ME, and 2000, which include a COM-to-LPT interface. So in Windows 9x or 2000, you can:


(or other parallel-port device). Only DOS names are allowed. Parallel ports (like Serial ports) are not automatically installed as TAPI devices since they are not modems. If you want a parallel port installed as TAPI device you must manually install it as a "Direct Serial Connection" device.

Can K95 use dialout modems on terminal servers?
Yes, this has always been possible. The command sequence is:

  set host hostname port
  set modem type name
  dial phone-number

However, since the modem is at the other end of a Telnet connection, you would not normally be able to control its serial-port settings. But if the terminal server supports RFC2217 Telnet COM Port Control K95 can do everything it could do with a local PC COM port: set the serial port interface speed and flow control method, sense modem signals, control the DTR signal, send BREAK, etc.

Does K95 work with Novell NASI modem sharing?
K95 works with any software that provides a TAPI interface or a COM port interface, and should work with any software that exports a Win32 device name. According to the Novell Support Website, on 24 July 1998, "In order for NT to access the modem pool, WIN2NCS version 2.11 must be used. . . . Windows NT is now supported. However, there is still an issue with the interaction of Win2NCS with Microsoft's TAPI which may cause problems with Host mode on some Remote Control applications. This is currently under investigation." (The download link provided for WIN2NCS no longer works.)

One user reported trouble using NASI until they selected "use hardware flow control always" in the NASI Workstation Global Settings configuration dialog.

Can K95 be used with ISDN?
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) is a digital alternative of the analog telephone system. CLICK HERE for an ISDN tutorial. Kermit 95 can be used with ISDN in the following ways:

Kermit 95 does not include a direct CAPI interface.

Can K95 be used with ADSL modems?
ADSL modems are generally used to make Internet connections. Kermit 95 can be used as a Telnet, SSH, Rlogin, FTP, or HTTP client over any Internet connection: SLIP, PPP, ADSL, DSL, Ethernet, you name it.


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Can Kermit 95 dial my PPP (or SLIP or ADSL) connection?
In OS/2: yes. In Windows, no. Windows provides no mechanism for a user application to turn a modem connection over to the Windows TCP/IP stack.

Will K95 let my PC accept incoming network connections?
Yes. The preferred method for this in Windows NT, 2000, and XP is to install K95 as an Internet Kermit Service, explained HERE. You can also use host mode, which can be used in Windows 95/98/ME as well as NT/2000/XP, and is explained HERE. You can also execute a command such as:

set host /server * 3000

to tell K95 to wait for an incoming TCP/IP connection on port 3000 and then automatically enter server mode when the connection comes in.

Can Kermit 95 be the Telnet helper for my Web Browser?
Yes. This gives you many advantages over the regular Telnet program. Just to name a few: you can transfer files while in your Telnet session; you have more and better terminal emulations to choose from; and you have colors, scrollback, key mapping, and local printing. Simply point your Browser at the TELNET.EXE program in the Kermit 95 directory instead of at regular system Telnet.

Why does Dialup networking pop up whenever I make a Telnet connection?
This is not a Kermit problem -- the same thing would happen with any Internet application, such as Microsoft Telnet or FTP. To fix: open your Windows 95 Dial Up Networking folder (should be in your "My Computer" folder), go to Connections .. Settings .. General and choose "Don't prompt to use Dial-Up Networking".

Why does my Dialup Networking Connection freeze occasionally?
Most likely because you have "Allow OS to power down the NIC to save power" checked in the Control Panel.

How can I force the Telnet server to issue a login prompt?
When K-95 is used to Telnet to a host that whose Telnet server supports the TELNET NEW-ENVIRONMENT option or certain other options, K-95 sends your Windows user ID automatically, unless you have done something to prevent this from happening. In this case, the host does not prompt you for a user ID, but just a password.

If your Windows user ID is the same as your ID on the host you are Telneting to, you only need to supply your password on the host, since it already has your user ID.

However, if they are not the same, or if you want to ensure predictable behavior, e.g. in a script program, you can instruct K-95 not to send your user ID with the command:

  set login userid

(without a user ID). Then the host will give its normal login: or Username: prompt. Put this command in your K95CUSTOM.INI file or your script file, depending on where/when you want it to apply.

How do I make secure Internet connections?
Kermit 95 can make secure TCP/IP connections using SSH v1 or v2 (K95 1.1.21 and later), SSL, TLS, Kerberos 4, Kerberos 5, and Secure Remote Password (SRP) (CLICK HERE for information about secure Telnet servers). The secure connection methods are documented in the Kermit 95 Manual and in several supplementary documents. Secure connections are usually configured by network administrators rather than end users; consult your network administrator to see what forms of security are available at your site and to find out how to configure Kermit 95 to use them if they are among the methods supported by K95. If you are the network administrator and you need assistance, send email to CLICK HERE for details about Kermit's security methods.

Why doesn't K95 support SOCKS5?
Although SOCKS5 is an open protocol (RFC 1928), the SOCKS5 reference implementation must be licensed for use, which would drive the cost, and therefore the price, of K95 up considerably. To add SOCKS5 to K95 would require a new implementation be written from scratch, something we have not had time to do. If you're a programmer and you want SOCKS5 added to K95, feel free to do the work (by adding it to C-Kermit; K95 shares the same network code); if you're interested in doing this, send us e-mail.


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How Do I Disable Scrollback?
In the Console version, you can simply remap all the scrollback keys to execute the \Kignore verb:

  set key \4385 \Kignore  ; Gray Page Up
  set key \4386 \Kignore  ; Gray Page Down
  set key \4388 \Kignore  ; Gray Home
  set key \5409 \Kignore  ; Ctrl Gray Page Up
  set key \5410 \Kignore  ; Ctrl Gray Page Down

You can do this in the GUI version too, but that doesn't remove the scrollbar. However, it's harder to scroll back by accident with the mouse than it is to hit the wrong key by mistake.

In both the Console and GUI version, you can limit the scrollback capacity with:

  set terminal scrollback number-of-lines  ; (Terminal screen)
  set command scrollback number-of-lines   ; (Command screen)

However, the minimum number of lines is 256.

How Do I Clear the Screen without Saving it in Scrollback?
Material is saved in scrollback whenever (a) a line scrolls off the top of the screen or (b) the whole screen is cleared. To clear the screen without having it saved in scrollback, have the host send an escape sequence like this:


(replace <ESC> with an actual Esc character). What it does:

  1. Puts cursor on the second screen line, left margin.
  2. Clears from cursor to end of screen.
  3. Puts cursor in home position.
  4. Clears from cursor to end of line.

These forms of clearing do not enter anything into the scrollback buffer.

Help! My Keyboard Has Gone Crazy!
The most likely explanation is that you accidently typed one of the following key combinations:

Why did my printer suddenly start printing?
The most likely explanation is that you accidently typed one of the following key combinations: Alt-P (print screen), Alt-O (start Copy-to-Printer), or Alt-E (force printer page eject / formfeed). Also, the host might have sent a "transparent print" escape sequence, or noise or binary data arrived at the terminal emulator that is the same as such a sequence. Use Alt-R to reset the terminal and cancel Copy-to-Printer or transparent printing.

How do I enable underline (or reverse-video) simulation colors?
You need two commands for this. First disable normal treatment of the given display attribute with:

Tells K95 not to display the named attribute. Choices include: BLINK, PROTECTED, REVERSE, and UNDERLINE. Example: SET TERMINAL ATTRIBUTE UNDERLINE OFF.

Then specify the colors to be used to simulate the attribute:

SET TERMINAL COLOR name foreground background
Chooses the fore- and background colors for items of the named type, including REVERSE-VIDEO and UNDERLINED-TEXT. Example: SET TERMINAL COLOR UNDERLINE RED BLACK.

How Do I Access IBM Mainframes?
Presently, Kermit 95 does not include 3270 emulation, nor a tn3270 client. The only way it can have IBM mainframe fullscreen sessions is through an intermediate 3270 protocol converter:

Most IBM mainframe operating systems support "linemode" sessions, which are similar to hardcopy sessions -- no screen formatting. Unless your IBM mainframe has linemode disabled, you should be able to establish a regular Telnet session to it. You can transfer files between K95 and Kermit-370 over any of these kinds of connections.

Where is the technical documentation for xxx emulation?
The specifications for each terminal, such as VT320, HPTERM, AIXTERM, etc, might be several hundred pages long, and many of them are proprietary.

Purchase the manuals from the current marketer of the terminal. Manuals are still being sold for all Wyse and DEC VT terminals. Note that (a) DEC sold off its terminal products division years ago, and it has probably changed hands several times since then, and (b) DEC is now owned by Compaq. DEC and Wyse terminal manuals tend to be quite expensive.

For further information, visit Richard Shuford's Video Terminal Information site.

Why does scrolling or echoing seem slow?
They don't to most people. But on certain PCs, under certain circumstances, there might be a perceptible delay in scrolling or in echoing of the characters you type. This delay can have several components:

  1. Delays in the connection itself;
  2. How heavily loaded Windows is;
  3. Windows scheduling of K95's several threads and its semaphore management;
  4. An extra (double) layer of overhead imposed by CONAGENT.EXE (Windows 95/98/ME only).
  5. Peculiarities of your video andapter and driver;
  6. K95's own screen update algorithm.

Normally K95 refreshes the entire screen every 100 milliseconds, i.e. 10 times per second. This has proven to provide the best overall throughput, which is always a tradeoff between (a) responsiveness to keystrokes, and (b) speed of displaying large amounts of scrolling text. You can change the balance and the frequency with the command:

Chooses the mechanism used for screen updating and the update frequency. Defaults are FAST scrolling with updates every 100 milliseconds.

A smaller interval might produce snappier echoing, but probably at the expense of scrolling speed. SMOOTH forces screen refresh with every incoming character, and so turns the balance to totally favor fast echoing.

In version 1.1.16, K95's echoing strategy has been redesigned to give snappier echoing on modem connections, virtually eliminating any delay that can not be attributable to external causes. Echoing of a character from the local modem's command processor now takes less than 0.001 second, compared to about 0.110 second in 1.1.15.

Also, beginning in 1.1.16, screen updates are optimized. This results in noticeable speed improvements on most PCs, but paradoxically, slows down some others. To disable optimization, use:



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Problems uploading files?
Kermit 95 as well as C-Kermit 7.0 and later default to high-performance file-transfer settings: long packets, sliding windows, "cautious" control-character prefixing, and -- on connections that allow it -- streaming. But, as we point out in the documentation, these settings are less likely to work everywhere than the normal conservative settings that are the default in most other Kermit programs, and which are the cause of the widely held misimpression that "Kermit is slow".

Sometimes file transfers -- especially uploads of binary files -- fail using these settings. Such failures can almost always be fixed by restoring full control-character prefixing:


Or in the Dialer, edit the connection's File Transfer page. Change Performance to Custom, and change Control Char Prefixing to Never.

If that doesn't help, then give this command:


If you still have problems, give this command:


(You can choose these on the Dialer's File Transfer page too).

If none of that helps, then consult Chapter 10 of Using C-Kermit, 2nd Edition: "Solving File Transfer Problems". And if that doesn't help, maybe K95's file-transfer partner has a defective Kermit implementation. Kermit 95 offers workarounds for most of the implementation bugs we know about in other products; click HERE and HERE for details.


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Using K95 with Host-Based E-Mail Programs
As described HERE, in these days of e-mail viruses, it is not a bad idea to avoid PC-based email programs and read all your email with a host-based plain-text e-mail client like Pine, Rmail, or MM. When you do this, you see MIME enclosures in their raw encoded format; for example base-64 encoding: many, many lines of:


So how to view that snapshot that Aunt Hilda sent you? The labor-intensive method is to save the message in a separate file, edit out the base-64 encoded picture, save that to still another file, decode it into its original JPG, GIF, or BMP format into yet another file using the appropriate decoder, and then either put it on your own host-based website and (after setting the permissions appropriately) view it from your PC browser, or download it to your PC and tell K95 to "run start hilda.jpg" or whatever.

Here's an easier method, but one that's not quite as safe:

  1. Make sure the message doesn't contain any enclosures besides .jpg, .gif or .bmp. Also make sure it's from someone you know and that it contains text that they wrote that makes sense to you, like "Here's a cute picture of little Otto at the beach". Just because it SAYS it's from somebody you know doesn't mean it really is! (Any mail that you receive these days, even from a friend or family member, is just as likely to have been generated automatically by a virus program.)

  2. Tell your mail program to copy the message to a file, xxx.eml. Substitute whatever you want for xxx, but you must use the ".eml" extension because that's the one Windows associates with its e-mail client.

  3. Exit from your e-mail program and download the .eml file to windows:

      kermit -s xxx.eml                (Substitute actual file name)

  4. Escape back to the Kermit prompt with Alt-x and type:

      run start xxx.eml                (Substitute actual file name)

This starts your Windows e-mail client (e.g. Outlook Express) with the mail message in it so you can see the picture(s). But again: be careful! If the message contained any enclosures other than pictures (such as Visual Basic scripts, Microsoft Word documents, HTML, ActiveX, etc), they could give your PC a virus, as explained in the Safe Computing document.

Accessing a Port-Blocked Mail Server with SSH Port Forwarding
Suppose you're on a business trip with your Windows laptop that you normally use to read your email using a Windows-based mail client. You find that you can't get at the mail server because you're outside the corporate firewall. But you can still make SSH connections through the firewall. Here's how you can use Kermit 95 to "tunnel" through your SSH connection to mail server. Before making your SSH connection, give a command such as:

  ssh add local-port 25 25

in which should be replaced by the hostname of your own mail server, and 25 is the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP, i.e. mail server) Internet port. This sets up TCP port 25 on your PC to forward to port 25 on the e-mail host through the SSH tunnel.

Now SSH to your login host. In your mail program, set the SMTP server to "localhost". Then as long as you keep the SSH connection open, you can use your mail program in the usual way.

The same trick can be used for any other TCP service that might be blocked from normal access.


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How do I embed Kermit in my application?
Many software makers ask us for Kermit software in special forms that can be embedded in their applications, to provide file transfer or other communications functions to their customers. But each software maker wants something different:

and on and on. And they desire this functionality to be packaged as a link library for this or that platform, a DLL, an OCX, a VBX, an Active X control, a Delphi component, a Netscape Plugin, a Java object, a Visual FoxPro object, etc etc etc. The combinations of functionality and interface are many, and there is no way we can satisfy them without warehouses full of programmers, which nobody can afford to pay for.

Consequently we recommend that software makers who wish to embed Kermit functionality in their products (communications, scripting, file transfer, terminal emulation, character-set translation, etc) license and use the programs we already have available. See the next item for an example.

The "API" (Application Program Interface) is the command language. It is more fully expressive, precise, comprehensive, and portable than any other API that could be designed (look at all the commands in C-Kermit or MS-DOS Kermit or Kermit 95; each one is there for a reason). As new releases of the Kermit program come out, your product can be easily updated and will benefit from all the new features, fixes, and speedups automatically.

The recommended method of embedding Kermit in another application is via command-line invocation. The Kermit command line can contain a selection of simple commands, and it can also refer to more complex command files or scripts composed by your application. Kermit can be configured to create any kind of log you need, and it can return the status of its operations in various ways that can be used by your application.

When you license Kermit software for embedding in your application, we are happy to work with you to ensure it meets your needs. And if Kermit protocol transfers are important to you, then it should also be important to you to come to the source -- we developed the protocol, we continue to improve it, we believe in it, and we stand behind it.

Following this advice allows each party to concentrate on what they are good at, rather than unnecessarily duplicating efforts and "reinventing the wheel". You concentrate on your application; we'll do the communications. We support our software, you support yours, everybody is happy.

As of October 2002, there is another possibliity available to programmers: Embedded Kermit. This is a Kermit module suitable for embedding. It's not a application, it's a "subroutine;" you have to integrate it into your application and provide all the communications and file i/o.

How do I invoke Kermit 95 from Visual Basic?
Easy. First refer to Using C-Kermit, "Starting and Stopping C-Kermit". Note that you can invoke K95 with a command-line argument specifying the name of a file containing commands to execute; this filename must be the first argument after the program name. Suppose, for example, K95.EXE is in the PATH, and the command file is called UPDATE.KSC. Then the command line would be, simply:

  k95 update.ksc

The command file can be prefabricated, or it can be created dynamically by your application. If it is not in the current directory, of course you must specify the full path:

  k95 d:\scripts\update.ksc

If you want K95 to exit automatically when the script is complete, put EXIT commands in the script wherever you want to return control to your VB program.

To invoke K95 from VB, use:

  Shell (commandline, windowstyle)

where commandline is the command with which to invoke Kermit 95, such as "k95 update.ksc", and windowstyle is one of the following:

  0 - Hidden
  1 - Window has focus and is restored
  2 - Window is an icon with focus
  3 - Window is maximized with focus
  4 - Window is restored, current window keeps focus
  6 - Window is an icon, current window keeps focus
The Shell() function returns Kermit 95's task ID.

How do I invoke Kermit 95 from Java?
You have to use the GUI version of Kermit 95 2.x for this (K95G.EXE, not K95.EXE). If you need to use the Console version (K95.EXE) for some reason, you have to work around problems with how javaw.exe starts Console applications, you must begin with a Console window, run java.exe in it, and then start K95.EXE from there.

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Kermit 95 FAQ / Columbia University / / 7 December 2002