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Choosing a telnet/ssh client

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Category:Secure Shell (SSH) and Telnet
Last Updated:2017-07-24 15:34:26

Most of our servers are accessible by either telnet or ssh (secure shell). Following is a list of telnet/ssh clients by operating system.

Microsoft Windows 3.x

The Microsoft TCP/IP Client for Windows for Workgroups 3.11 (TCP32B) comes with a telnet client that should be sufficient for those of our servers that allow telnet connections.

The Windows 3.x situation for Secure Shell (ssh) is far worse. There are 16-bit versions of TeraTerm for Win3x, but their encryption algorithms are very outdated and may not work with our servers.

Microsoft Windows 95/98/Me

Things really start to open up when you're dealing with Win95 or newer. You may be able to find older versions of PuTTY http://www.putty.org that provide both telnet and ssh capabilities in Win9x/Me.

Microsoft Windows NT 3.x/4.x

Windows NT 3.x is supplied with the Microsoft Telnet client, much the same as the one supplied with TCP32B for Windows 3.x. Secure shell may be difficult here, though TeraTerm may be of some help.

In Windows NT 4.x, PuTTY http://www.putty.org is really your best bet.

Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10

Once again, PuTTY http://www.putty.org is the safe bet. However, TeraTerm is a good alternative. There are also native Windows ports of the OpenSSH clients floating around, but they often have problems rendering complex full-screen text editors and such.

The SyncTerm package provides both Telnet and SSH capability, and supports the IBM extended character set, which is very useful for connecting to our BBS.

IBM OS/2 and OS/2 Warp, eComStation, ArcaOS

In the OS/2 world, TELNET is supplied with the IBM Internet Connection for OS/2 in the Bonus Pak, or included with the TCP/IP stack in OS/2 Warp Connect.

Secure Shell (ssh) in the OS/2 family is best supported with ZOC Terminal https://www.bmtmicro.com/BMTCatalog/os2/zoc.html or some of the EMX-based ports of OpenSSH. Again, the OpenSSH ports don't work quite as well here as they do in UNIX/Linux/BSD

MacOS Classic

In System 6 thru MacOS 9.x, NCSA Telnet is a great option for telnet-only. SSH is more difficult, but you may have some luck finding old versions of MacSSH that will work at least on MacOS 9.x, and possibly on 8.x as well. SSH would likely be difficult or impossible on System 7.x and older.


In the Amiga world, telnet is fairly well-supported: AmiTCP comes with a shell-based telnet client, and AmTelnet and DCTelnet are both GUI clients. AmTelnet supports SSHv1, but this is not of much use for ChivaNet servers.


In OpenVMS, Alpha and Itanium users can obtain and compile the latest OpenSSH port for complete access. Telnet is available in both HP/Compaq/Digital TCP/IP as well as MultiNet. VAX users will likely have to stick to telnet, as I don't believe an SSH client for VAX exists.


All modern Linux and BSD distributions come with OpenSSH, and OpenSSH is available in source form as well as being available in binary packages for most versions of UNIX. When in doubt, check Google.


BeOS supports telnet out of the box, but we don't know of any SSH clients that support anything newer than SSHv1 on this system.


For other operating systems, please check Google.

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