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C-Kermit 9.0

Portable OPEN SOURCE Scriptable Network and Serial Communication Software for Unix and VMS

The Broadway Local
The Broadway Local near West 125th Street. Photo courtesy   David Pirmann,   http://www.nycsubway.org/.

Version: 9.0.302
Released:   20 August 2011

This page last updated: Sun May 5 14:08:22 2024
(Note:  all FTP links converted to HTTPS 18 May 2021)
▶ ▶ Next release: 10.0 Beta.10 (3 July 2023)
For Unix (Linux, macOS, NetBSD, FreeBSD, Android, HP-UX, MINIX, etc), VMS, and (for the first time in 20 years) Microsoft Windows (next item). Testers welcome!

New: 3 July 2023... C-Kermit 10.0 for Windows Beta 5 (formerly Kermit 95). Now including its own built-in up-to-date SSH and SSL/TLS clients. CLICK HERE to read about it and download it for testing if you wish.
New index to all C-Kermit documentation HERE, plus comprehensive tables of C-Kermit's built-in functions and built-in variables.

C-Kermit Book
User Guide, Using C-Kermit, 2nd Edition (Digital Press), for C-Kermit 6.0. Click image to order from Amazon.com. Also available as a Kindle E-Book Edition. CLICK HERE for reviews. CLICK HERE to access online. Updates:

C-Kermit is a combined network and serial communication software package offering a consistent, transport-independent, cross-platform approach to connection establishment, terminal sessions, file transfer, file management, character-set translation, numeric and alphanumeric paging, and automation of file transfer and management, dialogs, and communication tasks through its built-in scripting language. C-Kermit includes:

And lots more -- CLICK HERE for specifications.

C-Kermit 9.0 is available for practically every known variation and version of UNIX, past and present (such as Linux, Android, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, AIX, Solaris, HP-UX, etc), on every 32- or 64-bit architecture, and for DEC / Compaq / HP VMS / OpenVMS on VAX, Alpha, and IA64 / IPF. Earlier releases of C-Kermit remain available for other platforms and operating systems:

In Unix, C-Kermit can be thought of as a user-friendly and powerful alternative to cu, tip, minicom, uucp, ftp, ftpd, telnet, ktelnet, rlogin, ssh, find, grep, iconv, recode, expect, wget, sendpage, bc, and to some extent even Lisp, your shell, and/or Perl; a single package for both network and serial communications, offering automation, helpfulness, and language features not found in most of the other packages, and with most of the same features available on all its non-Unix platforms (such as VMS), as well as in Kermit 95 on Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10.

Install packages

As of July 2021, C-Kermit 9.0 install packages are available for at least the following operating systems. Due to USA export law, install packages and prebuilt binaries do NOT include C-Kermit's security features (except that it can make secure SSH connections by using an external SSH client); this will change with C-Kermit 10.0. To obtain a version of C-Kermit that includes Kerberos, SSL, TLS, or SRP, you must download the source code and build it yourself.

CLICK HERE for a general discussion of C-Kermit package making. Note also that the Unix version of C-Kermit includes its own installation procedure, built into the makefile. See Section 5 of the Unix C-Kermit installation guide. -->


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As of version 9.0, C-Kermit has an Open Source license, the Revised 3-Clause BSD License. Everybody can use it as they wish for any purpose, including redistribution and resale. It may be included with any operating system where it works or can be made to work, including both free and commercial versions of Unix and OpenVMS.

C-Kermit 8.0 and 7.0 had a more restrictive license, CLICK HERE to see it.

[ Top ] [ Download ] [ Binaries ] [ Kermit Home ]


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C-Kermit Book
The user manual for C-Kermit is (still) the book Using C-Kermit, Second Edition [ INFO ], which is current with C-Kermit 6.0. Features new in subsequent C-Kermit releases are documented in the supplements (see links just below).

The manual explains step-by-step, with examples and sometimes pictures, how to use C-Kermit: how to make connections, how to troubleshoot connection and file-transfer problems, how to handle character-set translation, how to write script programs, and lots more; especially useful since live Kermit software support is no longer available from Columbia University after 30 June 2011. Beginning in 2011, the manual is also available from Amazon.com as a Kindle E-Book.

As of February 2016 Using C-Kermit can also be downloaded for free as a PDF file; CLICK HERE for details.

Online Information Resources:

[ Top ] [ Kermit Home ]


[ Top ] [ Documentation ] [ New Features ] [ Case Studies ]

The current C-Kermit release is 9.0.302 of 20 August 2011. Much work has been done on C-Kermit since then; the results are HERE (see change log). The current test version needs to be turned into a formal release primarily in order for C-Kermit to work with new releases Glibc.
You have many choices for downloading:

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Download and Build from Source Code

[ Top ] [ Unix Build ] [ VMS Build ] [ C-Kermit developer notes ]

If you have your own desktop Unix/Linux system such as Ubuntu or Debian, you can probably install C-Kermit on it by simply giving a command like "sudo apt install ckermit" (Ubuntu example), in which case you can skip the rest of this page.

You can download C-Kermit 9.0 source and text files directly from the Kermit Project in any of several archive formats by clicking on the following FTP links. The complete archives contain source code, build procedure, license, initialization files, CA certificates, manual page or help topic, initialization files, and plain-text information files extracted from the Web pages listed in the Documentation section: a complete distribution. The text archives contain everything but the source code; these can used when you download a prebuilt binary. The size of each archive file in megabytes is shown in each cell. NOTE: "Unix" refers to the entire Unix operating system family: Linux, Mac OS X, Android, AIX, Solaris, etc etc.


Archive Zip Tar Tar.Z Tar.gz
Unix Complete  2.9 cku302.zip 11.7 cku302.tar  4.1 cku302.tar.Z  2.9 cku302.tar.gz
Unix Text Only  0.8 cku302txt.zip  2.7 cku302txt.tar  1.0 cku302txt.tar.Z  0.8 cku302txt.tar.gz
VMS Complete  2.8 ckv302.zip      
VMS Text Only  0.6 ckv302txt.zip      

(Zip archives contain only text files, unzip them with "-a" or "-aa".)

Besides those, we also have C-Kermit 7.0 archives for the following platforms that have not been updated since then:

Source code and text files for Stratus VOS, ZIP archive (text files in DOS format) (C-Kermit 7.0).
Source code and text files for Microware OS-9/68k, ZIP archive (text files in DOS format). (C-Kermit 7.0).

If you want to monitor developments in C-Kermit since the most recent release, you can find the current working source code HERE.

Source code and text files are also available separately in the kermit/ckermit/ directory. These include files for platforms other than Unix and VMS, such as Stratus VOS, Data General AOS/VS, OS-9, the Amiga, etc. All files in this directory are text files; transfer them in text mode. See the ckaaaa.txt file for details. NOTE: The Unix and VMS source files are at 9.0 level. The VOS, Amiga, OS-9, and AOS/VS versions remain at 7.0 level. Others (Macintosh, Atari ST) have not been updated in a long while due to lack or programmers and/or platforms; volunteers welcome. And of course anybody interested in porting C-Kermit to new platforms is more than welcome to contact us about it; we'll be happy to get you started.

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Unix Build Instructions

[ Top ] [ Unix Hints & Tips ] [ Unix Installation Instructions ]

  1. Make a fresh directory and 'cd' to it. Example:

      $ mkdir kermit
      $ cd kermit

  2. Download the appropriate source code archive.

  3. If you downloaded a compressed tar file, uncompress it. Examples:

      $ gunzip cku302.tar.gz
      $ uncompress cku302.tar.Z

  4. If you downloaded a tar archive, "un-tar" it. Example:

      $ tar xvf cku302.tar

    If you downloaded a Zip archive, unzip it. Example:

      $ unzip -a cku302.zip

  5. Now you can delete the tar archive (or zip archive) if you wish:

      $ rm cku302.tar                 (or rm cku302.zip)

  6. Read the comments at the top of the makefile to find out which target is appropriate for your computer and operating system, and then give the appropriate "make" command. Examples:

      $ make linux                    (Linux, almost any version)
      $ make macosx                   (Mac OS X, 2001-2019)
      $ make macos                    (MacOS, 2020 and later)
      $ make freebsd                  (FreeBSD, any version)
      $ make openbsd                  (OpenBSD, any version)
      $ make netbsd                   (NetBSD, any version)
      $ make aix                      (IBM AIX)
      $ make aixg                     (IBM AIX with gcc)
      $ make solaris10                (Sun Solaris 10 with cc)
      $ make solaris10g               (Sun Solaris 10 with gcc)
      $ make irix63                   (SGI IRIX 6.3)

  7. Personal use: If you are an ordinary nonprivileged user of a multiuser Unix computer, move the wermit binary to whatever directory you use for your own programs and scripts such as ~/bin, optionally renaming it to "kermit" or "ckermit" or whatever else you want and give it permissions of 700, 750, or 755, as appropriate. Otherwise...

  8. Multiuser use: Move the resulting 'wermit' binary to /usr/local/bin/kermit or other designated "local" directory that supplements the applications distributed by the OS maker and is in the default PATH for all users. Give it the same owner, group, and permissions as minicom or cu. Move the ckuker.nr file to the appropriate man page directory and rename it as appropriate, e.g. to kermit.1. For more detailed instructions, read the C-Kermit installation instructions, especially if you had trouble with any of these steps, or if you will be using C-Kermit to dial out. The most convenient way to install is to the use makefile's install target ("make install"); read about it HERE. See the configuration options guide for information about compile-time options for customizing the feature set.

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VMS Build Instructions

[ Top ] [ VMS Hints & Tips ] [ VMS Installation Instructions ]

If you want to install a prebuilt VMS binary, then fetch the most appropriate VMS binary from the C-Kermit binaries table. Pick a VAX binary for a VAX or an Alpha binary for an Alpha. The VMS version number for the binary must be less than or equal to your VMS version. If you want to make TCP/IP connections, pick the binary for the appropriate TCP/IP product (TGV Multinet, DEC UCX, Process Software TCPware, etc), again with a version number less than or equal to yours; if none can be found, then try a UCX version (since most non-DEC TCP products include built-in UCX emulation). If you downloaded a prebuilt binary, also download the VMS C-Kermit text-file archive. Then read the installation instructions for VMS.

If you want to build from source code, fetch the VMS complete archive above if you have VMS-based unpacking tools, otherwise get the source files and text individually as described just below. NOTE: Unzip the Zip file with "unzip -a".

  1. Make a fresh directory and SET DEFAULT to it. Example:

      $ create/directory kermit
      $ set default [.kermit]

  2. Download the VMS source code Zip archive.

  3. Unpack the Zip archive. Example:

      $ unzip -a ckv302.zip

  4. Run the build procedure:

      $ @ckvker

    If you have a pre-5.0 VMS release, use the "old" build procedure:

      $ @ckvold

    If you experience any trouble, read the comments at the top of the build procedure.

  5. This makes a WERMIT.EXE file in your current directory. Start it with:

     $ r wermit

  6. To install the version of Kermit you have just built, read the installation instructions.

[ Top ] [ Hints & Tips ] [ Kermit Home ]

Individual Binaries

[ Top ] [ Binaries Table ] [ C-Kermit Installation Instructions ]

The C-Kermit binaries archive is at Columbia University. It was frozen on July 1, 2011. Due to space and bandwidth limitations, it could not be moved to the new kermitproject.org site. Before visiting the table, you should read this section.

When you download a prebuilt-Kermit binary, you should also download the C-Kermit text files, unpack them if necessary, and install them as desired. NOTE: In Unix, you can still use "make install", even if if you did not use the makefile to build your Kermit binary (the makefile as well as all the text files you need are in the text archive).

In the binaries table, filenames start with "ck" for C-Kermit, then one letter or digit to indicate the platform ("u" for Unix, "d" for Data General AOS/VS, "v" for VMS, "i" for Amiga, "9" OS-9, "p" for Plan 9, etc). After that comes a three-digit edit number:

188: Version 5A(188), November 1992 through September 1993.
189: Version 5A(189), September 1993 through October 1994.
190: Version 5A(190), October 1994 through September 1996.
192: Version 6.0.192, September 1996 through December 1999.
193: Version 6.1.193, November 1996 through June 1998.
194: Version 6.1.194, June 1998 through December 1998.
195: Version 7.0.195, January 1999 through August 1999.
196: Version 7.0.196, September 1999 through final release 1 Jan 2000.
197: Version 7.0.197, January-February 2000.
200: Version 8.0.200, December 2001.
201: Version 8.0.201, February 2002.
206: Version 8.0.206, October 2002.
208: Version 8.0.208, 14 March 2003.
209: Version 8.0.209, 17 March 2003.
211: Version 8.0.211, 10 April 2004.
300: Version 9.0.300, 30 June 2011.
301: Version 9.0.301, 11 July 2011.
302: Version 9.0.302, 20 August 2011.
Then a possible test-version designator: "a" for Alpha or "b" for Beta, followed by the 2-digit test number. Examples:

  cku209.xxx        C-Kermit 8.0.209 final release
  cku200b04.xxx     C-Kermit 8.0.200 Beta.04
  cku197.xxx        C-Kermit 7.0.197 final release

Test versions are included here only for platforms that do not have a final build available (usually because the machine disappeared or had an OS upgrade before the final C-Kermit release). CLICK HERE to see the current C-Kermit development release (if any).

Note that edits 193, 194, 195, 198, 199, 202-05, and 212-299 were never formally released (191 was only for OS/2).

The rest of the name is platform-dependent; in Unix it's the name of the makefile target, optionally followed by specific hardware platform and/or OS version, when it makes a difference. In VMS it's the platform ("axp" (i.e. Alpha) or "vax"), then the VMS version number (e.g. "vms73"), and then TCP/IP product and version number (or "nonet" if TCP/IP support is not built in). And so on. VMS TCP/IP product codes are as follows:

  ucx  DEC / Compaq / HP TCP/IP
  tgv  TGV MultiNet
  pst  Process Software TCPware
  twg  The Wollongong Group WIN/TCP or PathWay
  cmu  Carnegie-Mellon University CMU/IP

REMEMBER: It's often better to build your own binary than to run a prebuilt one, due to the ever-increasing likelihood of OS and/or library version mismatch.

After downloading, rename to "kermit" or "kermit.exe" (etc), as appropriate for your operating system and, if necessary, give execute permission, e.g. (in Unix):

  $ mv cku302.linux-i386-rhel5 kermit
  $ chmod +x kermit

Also remember that before C-Kermit can be used to dial out from Unix, it will probably also be necessary to give the Kermit executable a certain owner and group, and to set it suid and/or sgid bits, to allow it access to the dialout device and/or lockfile directory (the same as any other dialout software, such as cu or minicom). Read Sections 10 and 11 of the Unix C-Kermit installation guide.

Notes on the Binaries:

  1. "curses" refers to the fullscreen file-transfer display, used when transferring files over dialout or network connections. It's nice but it adds size and sometimes causes problems so if a "curses" version gives you trouble, try a no-curses (NC) version. On platforms that have a choice between "traditional curses" and "new curses" (ncurses), you might also have a choice of binaries -- if one doesn't work, try the other.

  2. Likewise, some binaries come in TCP/IP and non-TCP/IP versions. If your computer doesn't have TCP/IP installed, choose the non-TCP/IP version (if available). A TCP/IP-enabled binary almost certainly will not run on platforms that don't have TCP/IP installed.

  3. And some binaries come in optimized and non-optimized versions; this refers to compile-time optimization. Choose the optimized version, but if it gives you trouble, try the corresponding non-optimized one, if available (some optimizers have bugs). When optimization is marked in the table, O means normal optimization, O- means no optimization, O+ means extra optimization.

  4. Some binaries are available in gcc and non-gcc versions; that is, versions built using two different compilers. If one gives you trouble, try the other if available. Some compilers have bugs; some compilers support features that other ones don't.

  5. Some HP-UX binaries (notably, the HP-UX 7.00 ones) are built for long filename (255 chars) file systems, others for short-filename (14 chars) systems; these are marked with SF and LF. Choose one that is appropriate for your file system.

  6. Some Linux binaries are linked with libc, some with glibc. Pick the one that is appropriate for your Linux system. Better yet, just build from source ("make linux" should work on any Linux system).

CLICK HERE to visit the C-Kermit binaries table.


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Translations of this page courtesy of...

Language Link Date Translator Organization
Belarusian Беларуская 2023/08/22 Vladyslav Byshuk | Владислав Бишук studycrumb.com
French Français 2023/08/31 Kerstin Schmidt Admission-Writer
German Deutsch 2023/08/31 Kerstin Schmidt Pro-Academic-Writers
Russian Русский 2023/08/22 Vladyslav Byshuk | Владислав Бишук skyclinic.ua
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Ukrainian Українська 2023/08/22 Vladyslav Byshuk | Владислав Бишук studybounty.com

The New Open-Source Kermit Project hosted by Panix.com / Created: 1 July 2011 / Most recent update:  8 September 2023