The Internet Kermit Service Daemon


The Kermit Project
Columbia University

8 February 2000

The Internet Kermit Service (IKS) is similar to traditional FTP service, but with several key differences:

  1. It uses Kermit protocol rather than FTP protocol for file transfer and management.

  2. You may interact with it through a client (such as Kermit program at its command prompt) or you may interact with it directly through a terminal emulator.

  3. You can access it not only from an Internet client, but also from a serial communications program, and it can operate through firewalls.

  4. It offers numerous services not available in FTP.


  1. Requirements
  2. Making the Connection
  3. Logging In
  4. Using the IKS Interactively
  5. Client/Server Access
  6. Tightly Coupled Access

1. Requirements

To access the IKS, you need:

  1. A Telnet client that includes a Kermit protocol implementation, or:
  2. A serial communications package that includes Kermit protocol.

No particular type of terminal emulation is required (or used).

Various commercial shareware, and freeware, communication software packages fall into one category or the other, some into both, and others into neither.

For best results, use C-Kermit, Kermit 95, or MS-DOS Kermit from the Kermit Project at Columbia University, since these can take full advantage of the IKS in terms of both performance and functionality.

2. Making the Connection

Depending on the capabilities of your communications software, you can access the IKS in interactive mode, client/server mode, or both. To access the IKS directly from your Telnet client in interactive mode, instruct it to make a connection to the desired host on port 1649. For example, from the C-Kermit or Kermit 95 prompt:

  telnet 1649

or invoking C-Kermit from the UNIX shell:

  kermit -J 1649

If you want to make a client/server connection, first make sure your communications software has a SET HOST command and a REMOTE LOGIN command. Then use the SET HOST command rather than TELNET; this makes the connection without also entering the terminal screen:

  set host 1649

You can also access the IKS indirectly through a terminal server or other Telnet-capable device or host to which you have dialup access. First use your communications software to dial the appropriate number; e.g. using C-Kermit:

  set modem type usrobotics
  set line /dev/cua0
  set speed 57600
  dial 7654321

Once the call is complete, enter the terminal emulator if necessary (e.g. with Kermit's CONNECT command), and then engage in any dialog required to make a Telnet connection to the IKS, e.g.:

  Welcome to XYZ Corp's Terminal Server
  xyz_ts> telnet kermit.columbi