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…since 1981

Open Source Kermit 95 for Windows Progress Report

January 2017:  Finishing this project has become an urgent matter now that the OpenSSH 7.4 release has "disabled" all of the ciphers supported by K95's SSH client.
Tue Oct 20 19:53:12 2015

CLICK HERE to see the original K95 source code page, which is obsolete now but which still has some useful background information.

In 2013 two programmers, working mostly independently from each other, attempted to resurrect Kermit 95 communications software as an Open Source application. Missing modules were excavated and numerous problems overcome, and each was finally able to build a working version. But much work remains to be done. Here are the two projects in their most recent snapshots:

Project 1 (David Goodwin, New Zealand):
On a New Zealand FTP site as a Zip file: latest_build.zip
On Github: github.com/davidrg/ckwin
Github info:  [Getting started]   [Tutorial]   [FAQ]
Project 2 (anonymous):
Source: k95-mingw32.tar.gz
Binaries: k95bin.tar.gz
Email archive:
Plain text emails as HTML (100+ messages, about 7000 lines)
It is unfortunate that the work was not completed, but hopefully by revealing what has been done so far, someone else can combine the two branches and do some of the tasks that remain (this is not a complete list): Project 1 builds on Windows with all modern Microsoft compilers, and is based on the current K95 and C-Kermit source code, but does not have any support for SSH or any other form of security. It can make serial-port, modem, and (clear-text) Telnet and FTP connections.

Project 2 is built on Linux with the mingw32 cross-compiler and includes the features of Project 1 plus a prototype of plink-based SSH (which doesn't really do the job because there is no close coordination between the K95 process and the separate Plink process; that's why it needs to be a library).

Both versions are pretty close to being buildable with GCC.

What is Kermit 95?

Kermit 95 is Kermit software for Microsoft Windows: briefly, terminal emulation, file transfer, and scripting of communication tasks over a variety of communication methods (serial port, modem, Telnet, SSH, etc). Click here to read more about Kermit software and here to read more about Kermit 95.
Let me state it another way:  K95 is probably the best terminal emulator ever, and also the most powerful in terms of automation and customization features. It is designed and best suited for people who are comfortable with text-mode user interfaces and command languages, and who are good typists, because you can do just about everything in K95 without your fingers ever leaving the keyboard. It has its own built-in programming language (similar to Unix shell scripting, but different) so you can easily automate repetitive or error-prone tasks. It has unparalleled key mapping and keystroke macro capabilities. It supports terminal emulation in many languages (English, Spanish, German, Icelandic, Greek, Russian, Vietnamese... see for yourself) and almost every known character encoding (ASCII, ISO646, ISO8859, UTF-8, PC and Windows code pages, and on and on). And it supports inline transfer of both text and binary files in both directions within your terminal session. It takes some effort to learn how to use it, but that effort is well spent because you will be orders-of-magnitude more efficient in your online sessions.
The Columbia University Kermit Project was a pioneer in open software, founded years before the GNU project or Free Software Foundation. Our software source code was openly published and shared long before the term Open Source was invented. Kermit 95 was the Kermit Project's first commercial product, developed and published to generate income to help fund the project and its noncommercial products at a time when it had to pay for itself or disappear. Click here for Kermit 95 tutorial.

As of July 1, 2011, there is no more Kermit Project at Columbia University, and all Kermit software has become Open Source. The last K95 release was version 2.1.3 in 2003 but it has not yet been released in usable (executable) form because more work is required, and nobody is being paid to this any more. The new Open Source version will have a lot of improvements, but will also lack (at least at first) some previous features that can't be made into Open Source (e.g. some proprietary code that we licensed). But it will be free for everybody to download, install, use, and modify.

Why work on Kermit 95?


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