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Terminal Emulators for Windows? 39

termless asks: "I work in a situation where we code on Unix all day, yet our PCs run Win95. The default terminal emulator around the company is QVT/Term, which is not that good. What are your opinions on good terminal emulators for those of us stuck with using Win95 to do work on Unix boxes."
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Terminal Emulators for Windows?

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  • I use myself a similar setup daily (solaris VNC server, WinNT Vnc viewer).
    One of our machine use also the ability of VNC to have a java applet as client to display a lot of perfmeter inside a page of our intranet (with a dedied VNC server, and without a lot of security;-).
    A precision concerning the side note at the end, even if NT is not really multi-concurent-user, there exist a quite efficient-not so bad VNC server, permitting to take control of your NT machine from somewhere else on the Network.
    The windows manager to use is up to you (and your Unix machine), and I suggest starting with the basics, for exemple openwin on solaris.
  • just like to note that unless you sign the java applet, you can't connect to anything except the server that served up the applet (well, until someone finds yet another JVM security problem)
  • Also worth checking out is VNC [].
  • I use Reflection X from WRQ software and find that it is better than all others, except for Exceed, which I've never used.

  • by Mr Donkey ( 83304 ) on Monday July 17, 2000 @07:56PM (#926088)
    check out puTTY []
    • can handle ssh and telnet
    • can resize the window
    • can define your own colors
    • and fonts (I think)
    • nice and small, just an executable; no installation process
    but the coolest thing is that the copy and paste is not the keystroke-intensive ctrl-c/ctrl-v, but rather just mouse highlight and clicks, just like in X windows, actually more like on the console (gpm?).
  • by HomeySmurf ( 124537 ) on Monday July 17, 2000 @08:00PM (#926089)
    At work I currently use the application Exceed. It is an excellent client package with a huge number of options. It has the cool feature of allowing you to emulate the X environment of whatever machine you are connecting to or to just have X-style windows pop up in your normal windows environment. I have not really messed with it very much, as now that I've gotten it working I just run it and pretend that I have my own Sun workstation, but I assure you it is an amazing program with tons of tweakable features. It is produced by Hummingbird Communications. Exceed Product Link []
  • Terraterm is a free terminal emulator for windows, and has a plugin to do ssh. Unlike puTTY, you can resize the window(somthing that annoys me to no end with putty).
    In the non-free area, SecureCRT is one of my favorite ssh clients (also a very nice terminal emulator) with much better support for terminals than others (like decent ANSI support).
    In the not a terminal emulator area, Xwin32 is a nice Xserver for windows(hey, terminals arent great for everything). Also VNC is a pc-anywhere like app, that is free, and allows remote acess.

    *Not a Sermon, Just a Thought
  • I use Netterm. It's got some bugs, and it doesn't support ssh, but the xterm emulation is excellent.

    A "freaking free-loading Canadian" stealing jobs from good honest hard working Americans since 1997.
  • by cymen ( 8178 ) 7/ KevTerm is great for BitchX as it displays high ascii/ansi (the color stuff and shapes) correctly... Besides that it is just spiffy too.
  • supports color and ssh1/ssh2
  • no resize in puTTY?
    yeah there is, I just used it.

    maybe you were using an old version?
  • by Outland Traveller ( 12138 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2000 @03:36AM (#926095)
    I would strongly recommend SecureCRT if you're not adverse to spending some money.

    Besides having the best SSH implementation I've seen on windows, the terminal emulation is excellent and highly configurable. One of the reasons that I like it, even more than an xterm, is that when you scroll back in vi or some other editor, you actually go up in your document instead of going to the point on the shell just before you launched your editor. This makes cut and paste very easy, and there's even an option for printing out your selected text (Good for log analysis).

    One other very nice thing is the free updates. I originally purchased SecureCRT 2.x and all bug fixes, beta releases, and official new releases so far have been without addition charge.
  • Lives here []. Can't believe that noone else has mentioned it.
  • by RomulusNR ( 29439 ) on Monday July 17, 2000 @10:23PM (#926097) Homepage
    Assuming upgrading those PCs to Linux isn't an option, I would recommend foregoing trying to do development via term progs.

    Unless you have become comfortable with screen, or don't mind the slow updates of multi-window Emacs in an overexpanded terminal window -- or whatever you're using -- development via 24x80 windows, all requring new logins each time you want another window, is a miserable existence for the progger.

    My advice is to invest in a site license for a PC X server. Xwin-32 is fine; Exceed is nicer, and comes with an interesting embedded mode where your X client windows mix in with your Win32 apps' windows, instead of an X root window plunked over your desktop.

    You can also get buy with MI/X, which used to be free, [] but this still requires an ssh-able terminal prog (or something that will tunnel your X session) to be acceptably secure. If you're worried about that. It's also only X11R5, which is only usually an issue for really graphics-intensive X apps, IME.

    Another option for you may be to look into Samba; sharing your src directories and accessing them via Windows, and then using Win32 editing software to do your coding. You still need a term prog to do compiling, etc; but the quality of your term prog isn't as important if all you're gonna do is type "make". Unless you're writing ncurses stuff and need to test it, I guess.

    Seriously -- if there is some compelling reason not to move whole-hog over to Linux, then look into getting a PC X server for your workstations.

    (PS: as for term progs, I hear good things about SecureCRT. Personally I still use Cedomir Igaly's SSH client [], but I'm a freak.)
  • Yes. I also recommend SecureCRT. I am evaluating it currently and will surely purchase it. Not only does it support SSH1/SSH2/Telnet, but it supports serial connections, making it a good replacement for that blasted HyperTerminal application. I affirm the statements of the post I'm replying to.
  • by Ratface ( 21117 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2000 @02:11AM (#926099) Homepage Journal
    You can get terraterm itself here: oad/tc/pc/ttpro/ttermp23.exe []

    the TTSSH plug-in for SSH usage is here: []

    TTSH has been developed in Australia, so it's open for download at maximum strength to anyone - not just Americans :-)

    I'v been using the combo for about a year and wouldn't switch for anything (except perhaps money :-)

    "Give the anarchist a cigarette"
  • If you are looking for a commercial product, take a look at Procomm. If you're just doing terminal emulation, pick up version 4.6 (Connections) instead of 4.7 (same as 4.6 plus some Internet/fax tools) or 4.8. You'll save a few bucks and headaches that way. Procomm has its own script language in case you have a need to automate a lot of repetitive tasks. Originally made by Datastorm, bought out by Quarterdeck, now sold by Symantec. Disclaimer: I once worked for Datastorm/Quarterdeck, but no longer do. But I still use the software.
  • by tim pickering ( 6930 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2000 @02:19AM (#926101) Homepage [] makes a really cool java-based ssh terminal client that works great either standalone or as a web applet. it's very full-featured, too, and is actually one of the better terminal emulators i've come across (i like it better than kvt/konsole, way way better than rxvt, xterm, color-xterm, but not quite as much as gnome-terminal; YMMV). it supports full ANSI color as well as at least some xterm control sequences (i have my prompt display host and path in the titlebar and it works in mindterm).

    i keep a mindterm page on my linux box so that i can ssh in and do stuff from any relatively modern java-enabled browser (IE >= 4, NS > 4.06). handy for checking mail from cyber-cafes while traveling. if you have a JVM installed, it'd also be a great way to get a full-on terminal window under mac or winXX. way better than the lame telnet clients that are usually available. the license is GPL, but there are some restrictions due to the RSA algorithm that's used :(


  • Luckily most SSH installations are of v1 since v2 has license issues; at least all the installations that I have seen are v1. Another neat thing about putty is that there is a scp clone avalable. Now it just needs port redirection...could this be copied from openssh?

  • Yes it can handle different fonts.

    I currently have it configured to use Andale Mono, one of the extra fonts bundled with IE5.0. The beauty with this font is that even at small point sizes all characters are distinct.

  • It's not going to solve your problem of finding a better application than QVT (I use it, too), but it will add a little humor into your day. Check out ssTelnet/ [] for an application called Useless Telnet 3D. It's a dinky little TelNet client that scrolls your text like the text at the beginning of Spaceballs (oh, and the Star Wars movies, too).

    Again, a crappy solution to your problem, but it is a lot of fun to mess around with when your bored but still have to look like you're working! :-)


  • PuTTY has had resizing support for a long time.

    The only problem I've seen with the current version (0.49 - released last month) was when resizing when connected to one particular Solaris 2.5 system over a slow and not too reliable connection. Occasionally the terminal session would still have the previous dimensions. Resizing when connected to an indentically configured machine, located on the same network segment as my PC, works fine.

  • Note that PuTTY cannot handle the SSH2 and above protocols as yet. Their website says they are working on it, or that it is at least planned; I don't remember which.

  • TeraTerm and the SSH version of it work very nicely. TeraTerm isn't the flashiest telnet client around, but it does do correct display emulation (a rare thing even in commercial packages), has a correct keymap, and decent copy/paste support. I like it better than a number of shareware and commercial ones I've had.
  • I work in a situation where we code on Unix all day, yet our PCs run Win95.

    I feel your pain.

    Before I switched to using XFree86 on Linux, I used a program called Ewan to connect to Unix machines. It appears to still be available. I liked it lots more than the Windows Telnet client, but I don't know how well it compares to any of the other programs mentioned. There's lots of links on Google matching "ewan telnet" so I didn't bother putting a link in this post.

  • I can't believe no one has mentioned F-Secure. It isn't free but it's good. Check it out at It includes a secure FTP and also handles port redirection.
  • by BitMan ( 15055 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2000 @02:23AM (#926110)

    AT&T's Virtual Network Computing (VNC) [] is an excellent GPL licesned product to look at. When the server is run on UNIX systems, it allows you to run upto 99 independent sessions (more if you reconfigure/recompile it) on a single UNIX system. These sessions have their own window manager, programs, etc... tailored for the user running it. Essentially, you have a full X-Session running just like if the user was directly in front of the GUI console of the workstation. The user can then connect to the session from any VNC client, whether that client is MacOS, Windows, UNIX, DOS, Palm, etc...

    Using VNC instead of a traditional X-Server on the PC side has several advantages. One is the fact that a user can disconnect and reconnect their viewer on another system and not have to logout. This also means that if the VNC viewer system (e.g., Windows) crashes, their entire X-Session is still running (and can be reconnected to). VNC also works fairly well over low-speed connections (as good as X11R6.3 extensions for low-speed connections), provided you minimize background images. An additional advantage is the fact that it runs on a single port (5900 + session #) which makes SSH tunneling extremely simple (side benefit: "low-cost, more secure" remote access than most "all ports open" commercial VPN software).

    I work for a company whose applications are 90% UNIX based (Theseus Logic []), and that's not likely going to change soon (as EDA tool vendors are choosing Linux over NT because of the true multiuser capabilities). We use Linux and Solaris sytems to run these applications. Although we are starting to dual-boot some of our NT Workstations on our desks with Linux (although my personal workstation and all our servers are 100% Linux ;-), most of our work is done via VNC over to our headless Linux and Solaris systems. With 512MB to 1GB of RAM, we can easily accomodate 10 engineers on each system with fairly intensive engineering applications running. This has additional benefits like accomodating node-locked licenses that normally won't remote display (to another system), but will work in a VNC session (because the VNC session appears simply as display "localhost:vncsession#.0").

    VNC is also a great way to slowly move to Linux. Users can spend 6 months becoming familiar with Linux use via a remote VNC session, while still running Windows on their desktop. You can also use VNC to UNIX systems so any user can run those few (or many, like us ;-) UNIX applications when needed. Again, VNC is so simplistically powerful (especially on UNIX systems), you'll never run out of uses for it.

    Again, instead of trying to deal with finding a costly terminal server program, or a PC-X-Server, evalute if you really need one. If your UNIX platform supports VNC (and I seriously doubt there is a major or even minor UNIX platform where it has not been ported to), just give your users a full UNIX session with all it's goodies. Best of all, with the VNC server and all its windows/apps running on the UNIX platform itself, you have 100% native execution.

    [ Side Note: Unfortunately, since Windows is not a true multiuser system (and only a bastardized one with products like Terminal Server), you cannot use the VNC server in a reversed role (multiple users on a Windows NT system). Although you can use VNC like pcAnywhere (unified single session, remote and local user both see the same and control the keyboard/mouse simultaneously). And like pcAnywhere, VNC sessions can be shared, allowing remote training, etc... (even on UNIX, with multiple sessions running) ]

    -- Bryan "TheBS" Smith

  • You can also get buy with MI/X, which used to be free

    It still is. Install v2 as normal. then when the 14 day trial period expires, use regedit to delete any regsitry entries that contain the word microimages. Start up MI/X again, and voila -- no more 14 day restrictions. Not that I'd advocate such things, of course... In the end, though, I decided to go with Exceed anyway. MI/X is fine for basic tasks, but performance really sucks for anything more than displaying a bunch of xterms. Thankfully, this is all now irrelevant for me, 'coz they've given me a Linux box on my desk :-)

  • Reflections is what we use at our shop.
    Works very well, support for X Windows emulation, I have never run into a problem with it.

    I'm sure it costs a lot of $$$ - but is a great app for this kind of thing.
  • This one costs $25.00 has a shareware demo many features
  • Well, our 'official' emulator at work is Teemtalk, by Pericom. [...] Teemtalk is pretty useful, with a lot of configuration options and a wide emulation range.

    Poor you. I tried Teemtalk recently (or rather, TeemX, the X11 version) because I needed something that gave me DG Dasher terminal emulation. It msotly worked, but it had far too many glitches to be useful, the default attributes for inverse video were unreadable, and you couldn't even change them :-(

  • Well, our 'official' emulator at work is Teemtalk, by Pericom []. It's worth going to their homepage just to marvel at the world's longest ALT tag. Teemtalk is pretty useful, with a lot of configuration options and a wide emulation range. But, as one of the first posters said, puTTY [] is the way to go. It's os, it has ssh, it's lean, and it works like a dream. It's not extensively documented (except for the fact you can read the source code), but it doesn't really need to be: run it, and go. Beautiful.
  • by rupi ( 172971 )
    At the office I'm working with Attachmate's Kea X! - it's pretty cool, comes with a local window manager and so on - but costs sth. like 800$ I think
  • Winvnc has my vote too!!!

    Kicks but both as an X term, and as
    a pc anywhere application. Also, you can set it
    up to run through your browser window

    I.e. you don't need the client installed on your local machine, just a java browser. Thus you
    can connect from anywhere....

    And it's FREE!!!
  • X-Win32 has the same multiple window mode, where you don't overlay an entire desktop, just specific clients (that being said, Exceed is a little more full-featured, but takes up more resources). I've been using CRT and then SecureCRT for a while now, and I'm pretty happy with it. It lets you easily set up all of the necessary port-forwarding, X-tunnel, etc. Along with an X server, quite a nice set of tools to keep the mixed Windows/Unix enviornments.
  • VNC is a nice idea, but as a sysadmin, I strongly dislike it. Especially when 20 employees are running VNC (sometimes more than once!) on the same Sparc 20.

    When you run a local X server, more of the load is taken by the PC, and keeps the PC responsible for some of the interface. (FWIW, MI/X comes with twm, which if you want to use it, helps this idea.)
    With VNC, you expect the remote machine to take all the load, and rely on your network to bring the image to you. Personally, I've found VNC to be twice or more as slow as an SSH tunneled X session.

    What's more, VNC doesn't encourage you to be responsible about your use of the server, because it allows you to keep your session (and all its clients) running, after you've closed the VNCviewer.

    Which is why the first thing we kill whenever the machine is about to tank, is an Xvnc process owned by a user whose shift is over. This usually is a big inconvenience to them, not only because they have to restart everything, but because Xvnc always seems to leave some problem-causing cruft behind when its killed.

    My advice is to avoid VNC unless you really need its particular benefits.
  • I was flipping through an issue of Network Computing from last month, and saw this link [] to their review of terminal emulators.

    YMMV, IANAL, FYI, etc.

  • That one is fun, but boy does it have a bad tendency to suck up the system... a PII-450 with a G200 should be able to handle any telnet program... Mostly the problems are when it is connecting... some sort of evil loop in there.
  • gee, I can resize my windows....

    secure crt is also very nice in that 3.0 supports ssh2. Can we say, "hello keygen!" ? =P

You don't have to know how the computer works, just how to work the computer.