OS/2 Specifics of Kermit 95


Kermit 95 2.1 for IBM OS/2 has all the same features as Kermit 95 for Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP, with the following exceptions:

It also has a few features that the Windows versions do not have: SLIP and PPP dialing, a Rexx interface, and transmission of files with full OS/2 extended attributes.

NOTE: Although Kermit 95 for OS/2 is, indeed, the OS/2 version of Kermit 95, in this file we refer to the Windows version of Kermit 95 as "Kermit 95" and to the OS/2 version as "Kermit/2" for the sake of brevity and clarity.

Kermit/2 replaces OS/2 C-Kermit 5A(191) of April 1995. It is a 32-bit program, requiring OS/2 2.0 or later. It comes with a GUI Presentation Manager Dialer (which requires OS/2 3.0 or later) to set up your connections.

IMPORTANT: Kermit/2 uses different keyboard keycodes than OS/2 C-Kermit. You will need to convert any key settings files to the new keycodes. This change was required in order to allow any and all key combinations to be mapped, and to be mapped on a per-emulation basis. OS/2 C-Kermit only allowed a relatively small number of key combinations to be mapped, and all mappings were global. The new scheme also allows MS-DOS Kermit keymaps to be imported.

Kermit/2 includes a large repertoire of terminal emulations, Kermit and XYZMODEM file transfer, a powerful cross-platform script programming language, built-in automatic translation of Roman, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and other character sets: all in a consistent package that operates uniformly over direct or dialed serial connections, TCP/IP Telnet or Rlogin connections, PATHWORKS, IBM LAN Server, or NETBIOS connections, and in a consistent way with Kermit programs for DOS, Windows, UNIX, VMS, and many other platforms.

Kermit/2 is miles ahead of the old OS/2 C-Kermit:

			    C-Kermit 5A(191)     Kermit/2 2.1

Terminal emulations: 6 40 Built-in modem types: 28 82 Graphical dialer and database: No Yes Intelligent dialing: No Yes Portable dialing directory: No Yes Integrated XYZMODEM protocol: No Yes Auto-up/download: No Yes Streaming: No Yes Host mode: No Yes Rlogin client: No Yes URL hot spots: No Yes Block structure for scripts: No Yes Authentication: No Yes Encryption: No Yes Transport Layer Security: No Yes HTTP script commands: No Yes FTP client: No Yes

And lots more, including significant improvements in just about every area.


Eight years of full-time development have gone into Kermit 95. It is not free software; it must be licensed. The same goes for the OS/2 version; the terms for use are the same as for the Windows version.

However, in view of the declining importance of OS/2 in the marketplace, no effort has been devoted to creating OS/2-specific manuals, packaging, or hypertext INFO files. This should not detract from the utility of the software itself.

Kermit/2 is documented in the Kermit 95 and Using C-Kermit manuals. This file documents OS/2-specific differences from the Microsoft Windows 95 and NT releases.


The files are the same as for the Windows version, except all files whose names start with K95 have names starting with K2 in the OS/2 version. Also, there are certain platform-specific differences; for example, the Windows version might have some utility programs that are not needed in OS/2, and the OS/2 version has some fonts that can't be used in Windows.

Differences Between OS/2 and Windows 95

The following sections describe differences between OS/2 and Windows 95 as they affect Kermit's Terminal window.

Console Only

It was not possible to create both Windows and OS/2 GUI versions from common code.

No SSH Client

The OpenSSH library was not available for the native IBM OS/2 development environment.

No Toolbar

OS/2 Console Windows, unlike Windows 95, do not contain an optional toolbar. All functions such as window sizing, font selection, copy/paste, ... are performed by using the System Menu accessed by clicking on the Window mini-icon in the upper left hand corner.

Changing the Window Font

The fonts used in the OS/2 Console Window may be changed by choosing "Font Size ..." from the System Menu. The "Change" button changes the font size for the current window only, whereas the "Save" button will change the font size for all future windows of this application.

OS/2 Mouse Actions

OS/2 Warp 4.0 Console Windows have "Mouse Actions" that supersede all of the Kermit-95 mouse functions. In order to use Kermit-95's mouse functions for text selection, copy to clipboard, host, or printer, or cursor repositioning you must disable "Mouse Actions" by using the System Menu.

Loading Alternative Fonts into Fullscreen Sessions

Kermit-95 for OS/2 supports the ability to install VGA fonts into the video memory of the video adapter when running in a Full Screen session. This is accomplished by using the SET TERMINAL FONT command. Kermit-95 supplies fonts for:

  CP437 - Original PC Code page
  CP850 - "Multilingual" (Western Europe) code page
  CP852 - Eastern Europe Roman code page (Czech, Polish, ...)
  CP862 - Hebrew code page
  CP866 - Cyrillic code page (Russian, Belorussian, and Ukrainian)

The installation of these soft fonts is tricky and not guaranteed to work on all video adapters and with all video drivers. And remember, it can only be done in a fullscreen session -- NOT in an OS/2 Window.

Screen Dimensions

OS/2 2.x (pre-Warp 32-bit OS/2 versions) can not create 132-column console screens, but it can create console screens of just about any height you want: 30, 35, 40, etc. In OS/2 4.0 and later, you can have any screen dimensions you wish.

The Mouse Cursor

In OS/2, if the mouse cursor is within the boundaries of the terminal screen or command screen, it blinks each time the screen is updated. If this annoys you, just move the mouse off the Kermit/2 screen.

The Keyboard

On "vanilla" OS/2 systems, the keyboard should work just like in Windows 95 and NT: Same keycodes, same behavior. Note, however, that Kermit/2 does not work well with SWAPDCP (a utility floating around the net that lets you swap the Ctrl and Caps Lock keys, etc) -- some of the keycodes are lost; e.g. Esc, Ctrl-[, and Ctrl-H all appear to be the same key, with a keycode of 0. Use SWAPDCP at your own risk. (Note: OS/2 C-Kermit 5A(191) and earlier worked with SWAPDCP only because it did not provide complete key mapping capability; Kermit/2 does, but since SWAPDCP loses some of the keyboard state flags, Kermit/2 gets incorrect information.)

Also, there is presently no LK450 support for Kermit/2.

Other features not implemented in OS/2

The following features in Kermit 95 are not available in OS/2:

Tips and Tricks

When switching away from Kermit/2's terminal screen and then switching back to it, certain video items might become confused:

These problems appear to be confined only to certain systems, and do not occur on others. It is believed that they are related to the particular video adapter or driver; the problems are most commonly reported on SVGA and XGA systems. You can usually work around these problems in various ways:

SET TERMINAL CODE-PAGE only seems to work in fullscreen sessions. For that matter, the same seems to be true of OS/2's own CHCP program, so this is apparently an OS/2 limitation (noted in OS/2 2.1 GA).

SET TERMINAL CODE-PAGE (and OS/2's own CHCP program) seem to have no effect at all when the Hebrew NLV is installed. The code page simply does not change.

Shift-in/Shift-Out works only if you SET TERMINAL LOCKING-SHIFT ON (except in the case of the DEC Technical Character Set, used for line- and box- drawing, etc, which is handled specially).

Host-directed US/UK character-set switching (ASCII 35 interpreted as number sign in US, Pound Sterling sign in UK) works only if you have SET TERM CHARACTER-SET ASCII.

Under certain conditions on certain systems, Kermit/2 has been observed to put the entire screen (or subsequent help screens) in blinking mode. For example, when running in a fullscreen session, CONNECT mode active, background color is high-intensity, and using Alt-Esc to get to the desktop, then resuming the Kermit window can produce this effect; reportedly, this is caused by a bug in some of OS/2's video drivers. Alt-R (reset) makes the blinking stop. To avoid the problem altogether, don't use high-intensity background colors: DGRAY, LBLUE, LCYAN, LGREEN, LMAGENTA, LRED, WHITE, YELLOW.

Transferring OS/2 Files with Attributes

The SET FILE TYPE LABELED command allows OS/2 files to be transferred with all their extended attributes intact -- desktop material, icons, long file names on FAT partitions, etc. Consult the VMS appendix of "Using C-Kermit" for information on labeled file transfer.

Briefly, the idea is that an OS/2 file can be transferred from one OS/2 system to another with all its extended attributes intact. It can also be transferred to an intermediate (non-OS/2) system for archival, and later transferred to another OS/2 system and restored to its original form. An OS/2-specific SET FILE LABEL command is also provided for controlling how regular OS/2 file attributes are handled in labeled file transfers:


By default, all but ARCHIVE are ON. All of a file's attributes are always transmitted; this command tells the file receiver whether to pay attention to them (ON) or not (OFF). Use SHOW LABELED-FILE-INFO to display the values of these settings.

File Transfer Hints and Tips

Some communication software claims to implement sliding windows, but does so incorrectly. If sliding window transfers fail, set Kermit/2's window size to the smallest one that works, for example:


SET FILE COLLISION UPDATE has the following peculiarity: On FAT (i.e. DOS) file systems, a file's date/time is recorded with a granularity of 2 seconds, whereas on most other kinds of file systems (UNIX, VMS, OS/2 HPFS, etc), it is recorded to at least the exact second. Thus when Kermit/2 records the timestamp of an incoming file, the "one's place" of its time is truncated. If it was an odd number, therefore, it will be one second "older" than the date/time of the original file. Downloading the same file again with SET FILE COLLISION UPDATE would result in a second, unnecessary transfer of the file, since the remote file would appear to be newer than the local file. Therefore, Kermit/2, when making this comparison, will treat two times as equal if (a) the local file's time is an even number, (b) the remote time is equal to (of course) or exactly one second greater than the local time, and (c) the local file system is FAT.

Using REXX

Kermit/2 for OS/2 has a REXX programming interface consisting of the single command, REXX. REXX executes the given REXX command, for example:

  REXX SAY "Hello"


  REXX RETURN "Goodbye"


  REXX CALL filename [ text ]

which executes a REXX program from the given file. The text, if any, is passed to the REXX program, where it is available as ARG(1).

A REXX command or program invoked via Kermit/2's REXX command can also execute Kermit/2 commands from within REXX procedures that are invoked via Kermit/2's REXX CALL command, by enclosing them in single quotes, for example:

  'set parity none'
  'return \v(parity)'
  say rc

The RETURN value from the REXX command or program is available in the Kermit/2 variable \v(rexx). Set this by including a RETURN command in your REXX command or program.

Q: Why would you want to use REXX from within Kermit/2?

A: Many reasons:

  • Easier-to-use math functions
  • Running a REXX program without the overhead of starting a command shell
  • Kermit/2 access to additional OS/2 specific functionality (e.g. create WPS objects, perform directory searches, ...)
  • Add your own functions to Kermit/2's script language

There are three types of functionality provided in the Kermit/2/REXX interface:

  1. Ability to execute a REXX command line.
  2. Ability to execute a REXX command file.
  3. Ability to call Kermit/2 commands from a REXX program that is executing under Kermit/2.

Let's say you want to execute a one-line REXX program from within Kermit/2. You would use the new Kermit/2 "REXX" command. The format of the command is:

  rexx rexx-command 

where "rexx-command" is everything after the keyword REXX to the end of the line. A simple example:

  Kermit/2> rexx say "hello"

executes the REXX command SAY with the parameter "hello", which prints the word "hello" on your screen.

Another example, returning a value from REXX:

  Kermit/2> rexx return 4 * 4

the REXX command "return 4 * 4" calculates the value "16" and returns it to Kermit/2. Kermit/2 stores the return value from the last REXX command in \v(rexx):

  Kermit/2> echo \v(rexx)

Let's say you want to execute a series of REXX commands, but you don't want to create a REXX command file:

  Kermit/2> rexx say "hello"\13 return 0

This prints the string "hello" and then returns the value "0" to Kermit/2. Notice that \13 (Carriage Return, Ctrl-M) was placed between the commands. This is necessary because REXX expects to find each command separated by a return character just as if it was being read from a file.

To execute a REXX command file, use:

  Kermit/2> rexx call oofa.cmd

where "oofa.cmd" is the name of your REXX command file.

Now let's say you want to gain access to a Kermit/2 variable value from within a REXX program, change a Kermit/2 setting, or execute a Kermit/2 command. You could alter your program so it is called in separate parts from a Kermit/2 TAKE file or macro. But there is a better way. Just include the Kermit/2 command in your REXX program. For example, you want to set Kermit's parity from within your REXX program:

  /* Beginning of REXX program file */
  set parity "none"

Let's say you want to set a REXX variable to the value of a Kermit/2 variable:

  'return \v(parity)'
  parity = rc

Notice the single quotes around and the "return" command before the Kermit/2 variable statement. REXX passes the quoted statement to Kermit/2 for evaluation. Kermit/2 interprets the command and returns to REXX the value of the parity variable. This value is then stored in the REXX special variable RC. RC stores the return value of all non-REXX commands. The next statement assigns the value of REXX variable RC to the REXX variable parity.

Q: What happens if you create a REXX program file that contains Kermit/2 commands and you try to execute it outside of the Kermit/2 environment?

A: A Syntax Error. This is because the Kermit/2 commands are only available when Kermit/2 is executing the REXX command file.

Q: Can Kermit/2 be used with REXX programming tools such as Watcom's VX-REXX?

A: Yes and No. Kermit/2 and VX-REXX work together too. To run a VX-REXX program from within Kermit/2, first generate a .VRM file and then invoke it with the Kermit/2 REXX CALL command. However, the VX-REXX program is not allowed to make Presentation Manager calls, because VIO applications (like Kermit/2) can't do that.

Network Connections

Kermit/2 for OS/2 supports the following types of network connections:

Kermit/2's TCP/IP support works with:

  • IBM TCP/IP 1.2.1
  • IBM TCP/IP 2.0
  • IBM OS/2 WARP TCP/IP 3.0, 4.0, 4.1
  • Essex Systems TCP/2
  • FTP Software's PC/TCP for OS/2
  • IP-Switch Vantage IP

TCP/IP support is not yet available for Novell LAN Workplace for OS/2. If a TCP/IP package includes an IBM- or TCP/2-compatible TCPIPDLL.DLL library, then Kermit/2 should work with it. Support for other OS/2 TCP/IP packages will be added in future releases. These can be supplied in the form of small DLLs that can be installed after the fact, which Kermit/2 will load automatically if you define the environment variable CKTCPIPDLL to indicate the pathname.

When TELNET'ing into an OS/2 system, you should set your terminal type to ANSI. This is particularly important if you are going to use Kermit/2 or TELNET on OS/2 system to establish a second connection out from the PC that you have TELNET'ed into.

Users of IP-Switch Vantage IP may notice a brief TRANSMISSION BLOCKED message after typing the first character upon entering terminal mode. The blocked transmission does not result in any data loss or performance degradation as it only occurs only on the first typed character.

Q: Why use Kermit on a TCP/IP connection rather than TELNET and FTP?

A: Many reasons: Unlike TELNET, Kermit/2 can also transfer files. Kermit/2 has a script programming language, a powerful key mapping facility, screen rollback, color selection, and many other amenities lacking in most TELNET programs. It also has a unique ability to translate character sets, both during terminal emulation and file transfer. Many services are coming on the Internet which do not provide FTP, but do provide Kermit file transfer.

Q: Why is Kermit file transfer over a TCP/IP connection slower than FTP?

A: Because the Kermit program on the remote end of the connection is probably not running directly on a TCP socket, but rather running underneath a TELNET server, usually on a pseudoterminal and under a login shell, with the vast amounts of per-character overhead all of that implies. Also Kermit does more than FTP, especially when transferring in text mode. Still, you can get reasonably fast transfer rates by using large window sizes, long packets, and control-character unprefix (but remember not to unprefix character 255!).

Using Named Pipes

Kermit/2 for OS/2 supports NAMED PIPES as an interprocess communication mechanism. Named Pipes support for local processes is built into OS/2. In order to use them to communicate across a local area network both computers must have installed Named Pipe network support software. Each computer may be a Client, a Server or both. Each server on a particular network has a unique Named Pipe Server Name assigned as part of the Named Pipe software installation.

Kermit/2 has been tested with the following products:

  • IBM WARP (LAN) Server Requester (Client) to WARP (LAN) Server (Server)
  • Microsoft LAN Manager Requester (Client) to LAN Manager (Server)
  • Novell NetWare Requester (Client) to Novell NetWare Requester (Server)

To have a named pipe connection connection between two Kermit programs, one Kermit program must be the "server" and the other must be the "client". The server is the one that is started first, and which waits for a connection to come in from the client. The server is started this way:

  SET NETWORK NAMED-PIPE [ pipename ] 

If the pipename is omitted from the SET NETWORK NAMED-PIPE command, a pipename of "kermit" is used. "SET HOST *" means to wait for a connection to come in from another Kermit program.

Then the client makes a connection to the server:

  SET NETWORK NAMED-PIPE [ pipename ] 
  SET HOST servername 

where pipename is the pipename used by the server you want to communicate with (default "kermit"), and servername is the name of the server on the network. If you specify a servername of "." (period), this means your own computer; you can set up such local connections even if you don't have Named Pipes network support installed, e.g. between two copies of Kermit/2 running in different windows.

Both pipename and servername are case-independent, and can contain spaces.

There is no particular restriction on what Kermit commands can be used on a named-pipe connection. Here are some useful scenarios:

  1. The named-pipe server is in Kermit SERVER mode. Clients can perform SEND, GET, REMOTE, FINISH, and similar commands.

  2. Both Kermit programs are in CONNECT mode, allowing two network users to "chat" with each other. Each user should give the following commands:

      set terminal echo local
      set terminal cr-display crlf

To close a named-pipe connection, give the HANGUP command (or the SET HOST command, specifying no hostname) to either the client or the server.

The Kermit/2 named-pipe server can also wait for a client to connect. After the client disconnects, the connection will be reset to await the next client. This allows for the use of kermit "server" as a pseudo-FTP site for those without IBM TCP/IP.

Note: When using Named Pipes with LAN Server or LAN Manager, only the machine which has the Network Server software is capable of successfully using the SET HOST * command. This is because the client network requesters do not implement the server side of the named-pipe network redirection.

Novell NetWare Requester for OS/2, on the other hand, implements both the named-pipes client and server code on the client workstation and does not require the existence of a Network server to operate.


Kermit/2 for OS/2 supports the NETBIOS API, both the original NETBIOS 3.0 (NETAPI) interface and the newer NETBIOS 4.0 (ACSBNET) interface. Kermit/2 has been tested with the following products:

NETBIOS 4.0 interface (ACSNETB.DLL):
IBM LAN Adapter and Protocol Support (LAPS) as found in:
IBM Network Transport Services/2
IBM LAN Distance
IBM Communication Manager/2
IBM LAN Server 3.x
IBM LAN Requester 3.x
IBM OS/2 WARP 3.x, 4.0

NETBIOS 3.0 interface (NETAPI.DLL):
Microsoft LAN Manager Requester
IBM Extended Services 1.x
IBM LAN Server 2.x Requester
Novell NetWare 2.x Requester
  • NETBIOS Client and Server

    To have a NETBIOS connection connection between two Kermit programs, one Kermit program must the "server" and the other must be the "client". The server is the one that is started first, and which waits for a connection to come in from the client. The server is started this way:

      SET NETWORK NETBIOS [ localname ] 
      SET HOST * 

    If the localname is omitted from the SET NETWORK NETBIOS command, then if a HOSTNAME environment variable is defined, that is used; otherwise if a SYSTEMNAME environment variable is defined, that is used; otherwise "kermit" is used (the HOSTNAME variable is created by TCP/IP installation, SYSTEMNAME by DECnet PATHWORKS installation; if you don't have TCP/IP or PATHWORKS installed, you can add a "SET HOSTNAME=blah" or "SET SYSTEMNAME=blah" statement to your CONFIG.SYS file). The localname must be unique on the NETBIOS network; if not, the SET NETWORK command will fail.

    "SET HOST *" means to wait for a connection to come in from another Kermit program.

    Then the client makes a connection to the server:

      SET NETWORK NETBIOS [ localname ] 
      SET HOST servername 

    where localname is the new name used to identify the client Kermit session, and servername is the localname of the server's Kermit session.

    The localname and servername are case-dependent, and can contain spaces.

    There is no particular restriction on what Kermit commands can be used on a NETBIOS connection. Here are some useful scenarios:

    • The NETBIOS server is in Kermit SERVER mode. Clients can perform SEND, GET, REMOTE, FINISH, and similar commands.

    • Both Kermit programs are in CONNECT mode, allowing two network users to "chat" with each other. Each user should give the following commands:

        set terminal echo local
        set terminal cr-display crlf

    To close a NETBIOS connection, give the HANGUP command (or the SET HOST command, specifying no hostname) to either the client or the server.

    Unlike with TCP/IP connections, the Kermit/2 NETBIOS server can wait for a client to connect. After the client disconnects, the connection will be reset to await the next client. This allows for the use of kermit "server" as a pseudo-FTP site for those without IBM TCP/IP.

    NETBIOS is the preferred protcol to use when transfering files with MS-DOS Kermit or Kermit/2 for OS/2 in a peer-to-peer local area network. NETBIOS is supported over most networking protocols including: Netbeui, IPX, IP, and LU6.2. In addition, it has lower overhead than all other OS/2 implemented networking protocols.

  • NETBIOS Configuration

    Each Kermit/2 session requires the following resources from the NETBIOS provider: 1 Name, 32 Commands, and 1 session. For example, if you wish to have three Kermit/2 sessions running simultaneously in Server mode, NETBIOS must be configured to support at least 3 Names, 96 Commands, and 3 sessions.

    If the number of available NETBIOS commands is unavailable, NETBIOS support for the current Kermit/2 session will not be installed.

    The default settings for IBM and Netware NETBIOS implementations are:

      Product	  	Config File	Sessions  Commands	Names
      Novell (IPXNB) 	NET.CFG		16	  32	        24
      IBM NTS/2 (NETBEUI) 	PROTOCOL.INI	5	  95	        21

    The maximum settings for IBM and Netware NETBIOS implementations are:

      Product	        Config File	Sessions  Commands	Names
      Novell (IPXNB) 	NET.CFG		64	  128	        128
      IBM NTS/2 (NETBEUI) 	PROTOCOL.INI	254	  255	        254

    The method for modifying NETBIOS resources depends on the NETBIOS product; it is normally done by executing the configuration program (LAPS, INSTALL, ...) or by manually modifying the configuration files and restarting OS/2.

    It is possible to have two or more products each providing NETBIOS services by running multiple NETBIOS protocol stacks. All products which use LAPS may be mixed together. And LAPS may be mixed with up to one product which uses the NETAPI.DLL product. However, there are limitations. In particular, you can not successfully run Novell NETBIOS support with IBM Extended Services.

    The most common dual stack combination is of IBM Netbeui (LAPS) and Novell IPXNB (NetWare Requester). The installation procedure for each package is completely ignorant of the other protocol. The dual stack requires that the configuration files be manually modified with a text editor (e.g. E.EXE). The NETBIOS configuration is defined by statements in two files: NET.CFG and PROTOCOL.INI. These files contains statements defining how many NETBIOS Names, Commands, and Sessions are available to each protocol stack. The settings for each protocol stack must be consistent between the two files.

    For both protocols to coexist the following section to the must be added to the end of the PROTOCOL.INI file:

      virtual adapter=driver,physical adapter,sessions,commands,names
      virtual adapter=driver,physical adapter,sessions,commands,names


    virtual adapter
    Is ADAPTER0 through ADAPTER3. The adapter numbers must be used in sequence.

    is either ipxnb$ for Novell or netbeui$ for IBM.

    physical adapter
    is almost always 0 since there is usually only one physical network adapter in the machine.

    sessions, commands, and names
    Must match the settings in NET.CFG (NetWare NETBIOS section) if driver is IPXNB$; or PROTOCOL.INI (NETBEUI section) if driver is NETBEUI$.

    Without this additional section in PROTOCOL.INI, only IBM Netbeui will be available to Kermit/2. This section defines up to 4 virtual adapters (0-3), each of which is assigned a specific NETBIOS protocol stack implementation. Kermit/2 allows you to choose which NETBIOS implementation you want to use by using the '-N' (note uppercase) command-line option. To use the driver assigned to ADAPTER1 in the [NETBIOS] section of PROTOCOL.INI use:

      ckermit -N 1

    The syntax of the option is:

      -N adapter

    where adapter is one of the virtual adapter numbers (default = 0).

    It is important to know which NETBIOS protocol stack you are using as both machines must be using the same stack type for them to successfully communicate.

    The following provide examples of valid [NETBIOS] sections in PROTOCOL.INI.

    Example 1: Both IBM and Novell NETBIOS implementations and one physical adapter. Novell NETBIOS is the default.


    Example 2: Both IBM and Novell NETBIOS implementations and one physical adapter. IBM NETBIOS is the default.


    Example 3: Only Novell NETBIOS implementation and one physical adapter.


    Example 4: Both IBM and Novell NETBIOS implementations and two physical adapters. IBM NETBIOS is the default. (Novell NETBIOS cannot be assigned to two physical adapters.)


    Using DECnet PATHWORKS

    DECnet LAT (Local Area Transport) support works in conjunction with DEC's PATHWORKS For OS/2 product version 2.3 or later, which must be installed, and LATCALLS.DLL must be in your LIBPATH. To make LAT connections from Kermit/2:

      SET HOST hostname 

    and then use all of Kermit's communication features - terminal emulation, file transfer, etc - in the same way you would on a serial or TCP/IP connection.

    If you experience difficulties transferring files that contain 8-bit data, use SET PARITY SPACE and/or use shorter packets. Reportedly, some character loss will occur in the underlying PATHWORKS transport, and sometimes even random disconnections; hopefully, this will be fixed in PATHWORKS 5.0.

    Using Asynchronous Communications Servers

    There are two methods for using remote modems accessed via LAN server (asynchronous communication server):

    1. Map the remote port (modem) to a local port name (e.g. COM3) with a NET USE command before starting Kermit, and then unmap it afterwards:

        net use com3 \\server\modem
        ckermit -l com3
        net use com3 /d

    2. Simply use the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) resource name as the port name:

        ckermit -l \\server\modem

    Because backslash (\) is a special command character, use one of the following forms at the Kermit/2 prompt or in a command file or macro:

      set line //server/modem


      set line \\\\server\\modem


       set command quoting off
       set line \\server\modem
       set command quoting on

    Using Kermit/2 to Dial SLIP and PPP Connections

    Kermit/2 may be used instead of SLIPTERM/PPPTERM for starting SLIP/PPP connections, providing more extensive serial device and terminal emulation support than that included in SLIPTERM/PPPTERM.

    Once the SLIP/PPP driver has begun execution, run Kermit/2 and select port SLIPCOMx or PPPCOMx as your serial port, where x is the serial port in use for the SLIP/PPP connection. Kermit/2 will obtain access to the port from the SLIP/PPP driver and you may then use the port as necessary to log into your SLIP/PPP server and start a SLIP/PPP session. All of Kermit/2's features and capabilities are available for use over the serial line while Kermit/2 has control of the serial port. Upon exiting Kermit/2 or issuing SET PORT 0, the port is returned to the SLIP/PPP driver which will once again control the port, handling all SLIP/PPP traffic.

    Note that Kermit/2 should not be used as part of an attachment script, which is started by the SLIP/PPP driver itself, but should be run as a separate command after the SLIP/PPP driver is started. Should scripting be required, you can use Kermit scripts (including the OS/2 Kermit/2 REXX support as necessary) to perform the same tasks as an attachment script.

    SLIPWAIT or PPPWAIT may be executed from a Kermit script to synchronize the operation of Kermit/2 and the SLIP/PPP driver.

    SOCKS 4.2 Client Support

    Kermit/2 provides support for SOCKS 4.2 servers when using IBM TCP/IP 2.0, IBM OS/2 WARP, or a compatible protocol stack. SOCKS is one popular means of implementing a firewall between a private network and the Internet.

    Kermit/2 shares the same SOCKS environment variables as IBM Gopher. It also supports the use of local SOCKS configuration files.

    To specify the default SOCKS Server, add SET SOCKS_SERVER= to your CONFIG.SYS file.

    If you must use a SOCKS Distributed Name Server, add SET SOCKS_NS= to your CONFIG.SYS file.

    If you must use a specific with your SOCKS server, be sure to add SET USER= to your CONFIG.SYS file. Otherwise, "os2user" will be used by default.

    The SOCKS configuration file must be placed in the directory pointed to by the ETC environment variable as declared in your CONFIG.SYS file. The name should be SOCKS.CONF. On a FAT file system, use SOCKS.CNF.

    The format of the lines in the SOCKS configuration file are as follows:

    • # comments
    • deny [*=userlist] dst_addr dst_mask [op port]
    • direct [*=userlist] dst_addr dst_mask [op port]
    • sockd [@=serverlist] [*=userlist] dst_addr dst_mask [op port]

    op must be one of 'eq', 'neq', 'lt', 'gt', 'le', or 'ge'. dst_addr, dst_mask, and port may be either numeric or name equivalents.

    Kermit/2 ignores the [*=userlist] and [@=serverlist] fields. Matches are determined on a first match not a best match basis. Addresses for which no match is found default to "sockd".

    For completeness: Fields in square brackets are optional. The optional @=serverlist field with a 'sockd' line specifies the list of SOCKS servers the client should try (in the given order) instead of the default SOCKS server. If the @=serverlist part is omitted, then the default SOCKS server is used. Commas are used in the userlist and serverlist as separators, no white spaces are allowed.

    Networking Hints and Tips

    The SET HOST command uses your current SET NETWORK type. For example:


    will try to make a DECnet (PATHWORKS) LAT connection to DECnet node OOFA. However, please be aware that a SET NETWORK command will fail if the given type of network is not installed, or if (in the case of NETBIOS) the given name is already in use. Thus a safer construction would be:

      IF FAIL STOP 1 Can't access NETBIOS network
      IF FAIL STOP 1 Can't make NETBIOS connection

    The default network type (which is used if give a SET HOST command without first giving a SET NETWORK command) depends on which network products you have installed on your OS/2 system, chosen in this order of preference:

    1. TCP/IP
    2. DECnet
    3. Named Pipes

    NETBIOS cannot be a default choice because it requires a user-assigned name.

    On a TCP/IP TELNET connection, you should normally have PARITY set to NONE and FLOW-CONTROL also set to NONE. If file transfer does not work with these settings (for example, because the remote TELNET server only gives a 7-bit data path), use SET PARITY SPACE. Do not use SET PARITY MARK, EVEN, or ODD on a TELNET connection - it interferes with TELNET protocol.

    TELNET sessions are treated just like serial communications sessions as far as "terminal bytesize" and "command bytesize" are concerned. If you need to view and/or enter 8-bit characters during a TELNET session, you must tell Kermit/2 to SET TERMINAL BYTESIZE 8, SET COMMAND BYTESIZE 8, and SET PARITY NONE.

    If you SET TERMINAL DEBUG ON or SET DEBUG SESSION (same thing), TELNET protocol negotiations will be displayed on your screen. But most of the interesting negotiations happen at the time the SET HOST or TELNET command is given, before CONNECT mode is entered, so you won't see them on your screen. However, you can still capture them in the debug log ("log debug").

    If you are using the RLOGIN command and are unable to make a connection, check the SERVICES file located in the directory assigned to the ETC environment variable. Check to make sure that the first instance of "login" is on port number 513. Many systems are now listing "login" on port 49 which is incorrect. Comment out or remove the extraneous entries if necessary.

    Remote Access

    The recommended way to provide remote access to your OS/2 system is with Kermit/2 host mode (see previous section).

    If your OS/2 system is running IBM TCP/IP TELNETD.EXE, it is also possible to TELNET to your OS/2 system to have a CMD session, in which you can run only character-mode commands and applications.

    IBM's TELNET server provides limited functionality for emulating an OS/2 full screen session on a VT100 or ANSI Telnet terminal. Due to the limitations of the ASCII character set not all keyboard keystrokes may be replicated across the Telnet session. The OS/2 VIO programming interface used in the design of text applications does not map well to character based terminal devices. Therefore you will notice slow performance. The optimal terminal emulation to use from your terminal emulator is ANSI. You can use Kermit/2's SET TERMINAL TYPE ANSI command, or its SET TELNET TERMINAL-TYPE ANSI command.

    If you run a PM application (such as "help") while TELNETed to your OS/2 system, your session will hang because control will have been transferred to the real keyboard, mouse, and screen. Similarly, if you manage to invoke the OS/2 critical error handler during a character-mode application (for example, "dir a:" when there is no diskette in the A: drive). To avoid this place AUTOFAIL=YES into your CONFIG.SYS file.

    You can run Kermit/2 in a remote TCP/IP session and tell Kermit/2 to SET LINE to a serial device and call up a third computer. Thus Kermit/2 can be used as a modem server in the TCP/IP environment.

    However, at present you cannot transfer files between your local Kermit program and Kermit/2 when TELNET'd to OS/2 due to restrictions in the OS/2 TELNET server.

    It is also possible to get an OS/2 CMD session on a serial connection when dialing into your OS/2 system if you are running a product such as OS2YOU, but Kermit/2 file transfer does not yet work in this environment either.

    The Telnet server in recent versions of OS/2 (probably starting with Warp 4) evidently does character-set translation from CP850 to Latin1, which can interfere with the K95 Telnet client's screen formatting, especially if you are trying to use the ANSI terminal type. Cure: Start OS/2 telnetd with the "-cp none" parameter. Then "set term type ansi" in Kermit 95 should work as expected. But note that function keys are not supported since they are not part of ANSI emulation, and in any case there is no provision for them in IBM telnetd. Ditto for Alt keys, the gray keypads, etc.

    Using Kermit Software Instead of Lap-Link

    Lap-Link software is typically used to synchronize the versions of files found on two separate computers by transfering files across either a direct serial port or parallel port connection.

    Kermit/2 and MS-DOS Kermit are well designed for this task. The SET FILE COLLISION UPDATE command may be used to instruct Kermit/2 to only transfer files that are new or have changed.

    The SEND /RECURSIVE command allows entire directory trees to be sent from one system to another.

    In addition, Kermit/2's SET FILE TYPE LABELED and SET FILE LABEL {ARCHIVE, EXTENDED, HIDDEN, READ-ONLY, and SYSTEM} commands can be used to specify which file attributes including extended attributes should be transfered. This is particularly useful when backing up changes to an OS/2 desktop from one system to another.

    With the use of a Parallel Port NDIS driver, Kermit/2 can use its network support to take advantage of high speed parallel port connections. (Savant Software, Inc., sells parallel port drivers for OS/2 and DOS: floyd@savant.com, or P.O. Box 201015, Austin, TX 78720-1015.) Just add either the TCP/IP or NETBIOS protocol stacks to the Parallel Port MAC in IBM LAPS or IBM MPTS. Then tell Kermit/2 to SET NETWORK TCP/IP or NETBIOS depending on which you want to use. Standard Lap-Link cables are supported.

    OS/2 Kermit Utilities

    OS/2 Kermit PM Clipboard Server

    Since Kermit/2 is not a PM application its ability to access the PM Clipboard is extremely limited. In fact, according to IBM documentation, it shouldn't be possible at all. However, OS/2 C-Kermit has by itself (since release 5a(190)) given users the ability to copy data into the PM Clipboard for use by other applications. It also was able to retrieve data from the PM Clipboard whenever the data was placed there by an application using a type of shared memory known as GETABLE shared memory.

    Kermit/2 ships with a utility program, "k2clip.exe". This PM Application when active acts as an agent for all active Kermit/2 sessions enabling Kermit/2 to copy and paste text data to and from the clipboard with full compatibility with other OS/2 PM applications (eg. TWCP and ManyClip). Now the \KPaste kverb can paste text data copied to the clipboard from all PM and Win-OS2 applications and the \KMarkCopyClip kverb will paste text into a ManyClip Clipboard.

    It is recommended that users place a shadow of the Kermit/2 PM Clipboard Server program object into their Startup folder (located within the OS/2 System folder.) By doing this a single copy of the Server will be started each time OS/2 is loaded. When not in use, the server uses zero CPU time and its memory will be paged to the swapfile.

    IBM Telnet Replacements

    When navigating the World Wide Web using IBM WebExplorer you may often come across Web links which require the use of a Telnet client. Unfortunately, IBM WebExplorer does not allow you to configure it to use a Telnet client other than IBM TelnetPM. This is because IBM WebExplorer must provide information to the Telnet client via the command line. Therefore, it uses the command line format provided by IBM Telnet and IBM TelnetPM.

    However, if you wish to use Kermit/2 as your Telnet client during your travels along the World Wide Web all is not lost. Kermit/2 ships with a utility known as the IBM Telnet Replacement, "telnet.exe" and "telnetpm.exe". The Telnet Replacement provides a command line interface that is identical to that provided by IBM Telnet and IBM TelnetPM. It converts the command line options into a command string that is then passed to Kermit/2.

    In order for this to work properly you must ensure that the Kermit/2 directory comes before the TCPIP\BIN directory in the PATH environment variable.

    To remove this option, simply delete the "telnet.exe" and "telnetpm.exe" files from your Kermit/2 directory.

    Rlogin Command-Line Executable

    Similar to "telnet.exe", Kermit/2 comes with "rlogin.exe". The command line RLOGIN utility allows you to access hosts from the command line with using the LOGIN protocol instead of TELNET.

    More OS/2 Hints and Tips

    Kermit and the OS/2 Work Place Shell

    You can use the Program page in the Settings notebook of the Kermit/2 program object to enter parameters that will affect the way the program starts. Kermit/2 does not normally need parameters when it is opened. You can add Kermit/2 to the pop-up menu for a folder object (e.g. the Desktop) so you can start that program by selecting the choice on the pop-up menu. However, when you start Kermit/2, OS/2 sends any parameters to the program. OS/2 considers the name of a folder a parameter, so OS/2 sends the folder name to the program when you select a program-name choice from the pop-up menu. Kermit/2 cannot accept a folder name as a parameter. If you try to start Kermit/2 from the pop-up menu of a folder and the program does not start or displays an error message, you can stop the name of the folder from being sent to the program by doing the following:

    1. Display the pop-up menu for the Kermit/2 program object that was referenced when you added the Kermit/2 to the pop-up menu. For example, you might have dragged the "Kermit/2 for OS/2" object from the Kermit/2 folder to the Menu page of the Settings notebook for the Desktop folder. If so, display the pop-up menu for "Kermit/2 for OS/2" in the Kermit/2 folder.

    2. Select Open.

    3. Select Settings.

    4. Select the Program tab.

    5. Type the following in the Parameters field:

    6. %

    7. Close the Settings notebook.

    If you have updated the Dialing Directory or Services Directory to include entries for each of the various systems you connect to you can further automate the process of connecting by creating Program Objects for each services directory or dialing directory entry. To create the new object:

    1. Display the pop-up menu for the "Kermit/2 for OS/2" object in the Kermit/2 folder.

    2. Select Copy

    3. Edit the New name field to be the name of the service (e.g. xyzcorp.com).

    4. Press Copy

    5. Display the pop-up menu for the object you just created.

    6. Select Settings

    7. Type the appropriate string in the Parameters field. For a Services Directory entry type:

            -C "access  [Password:], connect" %

      For a Dialing Directory entry type:

            -C "dial , connect" %

    When double clicking on a Services Directory object you would first be prompted for the appropriate password prior to Kermit/2's connecting to the designated service.

    The Work Place Shell provides special parameters which may be passed to filenames to Kermit/2. These parameters are replaced with the filename at startup. They are used for drag and drop operations or file associations.

    Inserts the drive letter, path, and file name of a program into the parameter list

    Insert drive and path information without the last backslash (\).

    Insert drive with ':' or UNC name.

    Insert file name without extension.

    Insert file name with extension.

    Insert extension without leading dot. In HPFS, the extension always comes after the last dot.

    Serial Port Performance

    Kermit/2's performance on serial connections - and the performance of any other OS/2 communication software program - can be improved significantly by using a 16550AFN communications port controller (UART) rather than an 8250, 16450, 16550 (no A), or other unbuffered UART. Unbuffered UARTs interrupt the CPU once per character, whereas a buffered UART interrupts every 8-14 (or more) characters. Measurements during Kermit/2 file transfer on an otherwise unloaded i486/50 EISA system under OS/2 show approximately 10%-25% CPU usage with a buffered UART and 75%-100% using an unbuffered one. And of course, as with all other OS/2 applications (and OS/2 itself), a faster CPU and more memory also help.

    OS/2 Devices, Files, and Shells

    If you refer to a disk drive that is not ready, or to a file on such a disk drive, the OS/2 critical error handler might pop up and require action from the keyboard. This occurs during execution of commands by inferior processes, such as DIRECTORY, REMOTE DIRECTORY, DELETE, REMOTE DELETE, etc. It should not occur in file transfer operations. The "hard error box" will put a halt to unattended, scripted operations, and it stops the operation of the Kermit/2 server if there is no human in attendance. To work around: add the line " AUTOFAIL =YES" to CONFIG.SYS and reboot. This eliminates the hard error box, but it applies system-wide, not just to Kermit/2. (The equivalent of AUTOFAIL =YES can be set on a per-process basis and Kermit/2 does so for itself but it can't do this for any inferior processes started by it.)

    If the PUSH command, and related commands, do not work for you, check the definition of your OS/2 COMSPEC environment variable, i.e. make sure it contains the fully-specified pathname of a valid OS/2 executable shell program (such as C:\OS2\CMD.EXE), and/or the named program is in your OS/2 PATH .

    Kermit/2 works with JP Software's 4OS2.EXE, the Hamilton csh, and any other replacement Command Shell. The directory containing the shell must be located in the PATH in order for the replacement shell to be called correctly.

    Running Kermit in the Background

    When Kermit is performing a long file transfer or lengthy script-based operation, you can have Kermit proceed with its work in the background while you work on something else in the foreground.

    Out of the box, OS/2 is tuned to favor foreground applications, which is fine if the background applications will not be performing time-critical operations or be expected to perform consistent screen updates. But Kermit does both, and so we need a way to tell OS/2 to let it run at a reasonable speed even while we do other work in the foreground.

    There are two settings in the CONFIG.SYS file which affect how OS/2 determines the priority of applications which are competing for CPU time and File I/O Services:

    The default value is DYNAMIC, which gives a priority boost to all foreground applications. This effectively reduces the priority of all background applications. If you want your applications to have equal access to the CPU regardless of the foreground/ background status, set the value to ABSOLUTE.

    The default value, YES, gives the foreground process priority service. If your foreground process is performing a significant amount of disk access (such as a database search, compile, a long directory listing, or printing to the spooler) this will have a severe impact on your background file transfers. Try setting this this value to NO.

    Other settings that also affect the performance of OS/2 are:

    How long a process may starve before it gets a priority boost to allow it to gain access to the CPU. The standard value is 3 seconds which is probably adequate for most users.

    How many threads may be created on a the system. The default value is 256. The larger the number of threads the greater the overhead. However, lowering this number might result in fewer programs being able to run simultaneously. OS/2 applications, such as Kermit/2, that need to do many things at once (e.g. watch the keyboard and port and the mouse) use several threads. Kermit/2 uses anywhere from two to eight threads depending on its current operating mode. You can count the number of threads active in the system at a particular time by using PSTAT . Pipe the output of PSTAT to a file and count the number of lines in the "Process and Thread Information" section. Do it under a heavy load to determine how many threads you really need.

    The minimum and maximum amounts of time that a thread may have access to the CPU before yielding it to another thread. IBM recommends a maximum value of 125 milliseconds when using communications software (see OS/2 Command Reference) . Suggested setting is "32,125".

    The location and original size of your swapfile (SWAPPER.DAT). It is strongly recommended that you move your swapfile, if you have multiple drives or partitions, to the root directory of the most-used partition on the least-used drive. Then increase the initial size value to 4096 larger than you have ever seen the swapfile grow to. After making this change to your CONFIG.SYS file, shutdown and reboot. If you have moved the SWAPPER.DAT file to a new drive or directory, delete the file SWAPPER.DAT from the \OS2\SYSTEM directory on your boot drive. Next, if you placed the swapfile on a FAT partition, boot DOS and execute a Disk Optimizer such as Norton's Speedisk.exe. Optimize the disk so that the swapfile is the first file on the partition and is contiguous.

    Disk caching is extremely important and can have a dramatic affect on the performance of your computer. Disk caches in OS/2 are allocated separately for each type of file system: FAT , HPFS , and CDFS . When configuring your cache do not set the cache size to be high if you have a small amount of RAM (less than 16MB). Be sure to turn on Lazy Writes.

    If you never run DOS or Windows programs, set PROTECTONLY=YES. This will give OS/2 640k more physical memory to use for your OS/2 applications.

    For additional information on all of the above topics read the OS/2 Command Reference in the Information folder on your OS/2 Desktop.

    Further information on tuning OS/2 can be found in:

    "Stupid OS/2 Tricks"
    from Internet: m-woo@uiuc.edu

    from Timothy Sipples, tsipple@vnet.ibm.com

    These files and more are available from most OS/2 ftp sites, BBS, and online services under a variety of names.

    Applications that Freeze

    There have been isolated reports of Kermit/2 "freezing" on some systems. This problem is not confined to Kermit/2, and has also been observed with a variety of other communications software packages:

    • The most likely cause for freezing would be an interrupt conflict. Make sure your serial ports, CD ROM drive / controller and/or SCSI adapter, Soundblaster, ISA card, network adapter, etc, are all using different and unique IRQs.

    • One user reported that the problem disappeared when he moved his serial communication board farther away from his SCSI adapter board. This might have reduced electromagnetic interference, or altered the priority of the adapters. Sometimes, simply reseating the card can help.

    • Another user (different system) made the problem go away by rebooting the PC, which had been up for many weeks.

    • The problem might be caused by a poorly built or configured system: noisy bus, spurious interrupts, buggy internal modems, or buggy serial port driver software. For example, one user who noted that Kermit froze whenever he told it to SET PORT COM2 also discovered that the same thing would happen if he issued a MODE COM2 command at the CMD prompt, even when this is done immediately after starting the system.

    • Finally, mysterious problems like this are often cleared up by installing patches (CSDs) or new releases of the software involved (e.g. TCP/IP or other DLLs, serial drivers, OS/2 itself, etc).

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