SUMMARY: Kermit and Enter (at last)

From: Larry Dolinar (
Date: Thu Dec 08 1994 - 23:56:42 CST

Well by now all of you are saying "what a clown this guy is -- he didn't
even summmarize"...

A multitude of apologies for that; I administer a Sun network, but have no
machine of my own to play with). This does tend to mess things up.

The original post:

> This is an odd one: I have a customer wanting to dial in to our DOS BBS
> from SunOS 4.1.3 using kermit. They used to do it a couple of years ago
> off their Sun server, when they were 4.1.1. Problem is now, they can't:
> the Enter key now passes a LF (not CR) and the host comm mode of the DOS
> machine won't recognize it (Procomm or anything else).
> After some questioning, I found they had upgraded their memory, added a
> larger disk, and customized the kernel to support a parallel interface. I
> succeeded in creating a dial-in account on my workstations (1 4.1.1, 1
> 4.1.3) and when using our kermit to dial our BBS, SURPRISE -- no problem.
> This seems to indicate something in their kernel config file. I've
> checked our termcap and terminfo files between the stock 4.1.1 amd 4.1.3
> installations and there's no difference: they compare identically.
> The change in /etc/ttytab (as you all probably know) is the change to the
> console entry (cons8, not std.9600) to handle 8-bit characters for some
> standard. cons8 was added to /etc/gettytab as 8-bit clean (p8). Well, of
> course, our 4.1.3 station also has such an entry, and doesn't seem to
> interfere with the Enter key interpretation.
> My current workaround is to support a dial-in account on one of our
> workstations (they're not on the Internet, wouldn't you know), but the
> call logging will be completely independent of what we do for the rest of
> our customers.
> They have a 4/330 server and a kermit dated from '86 (handles up to
> 19200). Our kermit dates from '88 and only goes to 9600). My questions:
> - what should I look for in their kernel config (or somewhere else)?
> - is there a Sun-compatible kermit (or source) that is insensitive
> to terminal keymaps (and where is it)?
> - will the standard ttya and ttyb handle 19200 and 38400 reliably?

The respondents (most of them, anyway):

  Ric Anderson <ric@Artisoft.COM> (Jim Anderson) (Michael Sullivan)
  Frank da Cruz <> (Kevin Sheehan {Consulting Poster Child})
  Dan Stromberg - OAC-DCS <>

The summary:

  1. Anonymous ftp to, directory kermit/archives,
      binary mode, file cku190.tar.Z. (it turns out binaries are also
      available). This from most (see below).

      Also purchase and consult the documentation (from Frank, who
      co-wrote the book), definitely a will-do.

      The actual command to fix the problem: "set key \10 \13". I had
      to find that part myself, but hey, that's half the fun.

  2. Turn off the scrolling in cmdtool. Or use shelltool, as it turns

  3. Apply the relevant patch from Sun (and all the OpenWindows 3
      patches, per Michael). May try that later.

  4. The stty's for the two machines are different: check the icrnl flag.
      Didn't get around to this.

  5. Try giving them your Kermit binary. Did, but didn't work; I had
      not had the problem on our 4.1.3 machine, but that's because I used
      shelltool, not cmdtool. Stupid me.

The gory details:

from Nico Garcia:

The latest Sun kermit is available from, in
pub/archives: it has *configurable* EOL behaviors, whether CR, CR-LF,
or just LF. I use it myself from a Sun on ttya and ttyb all the time,
at 19200. I did install the jumbo tty patch, #100513-4, to provide
decent hardware flow control and fix a number of known bugs for the
serial driver. You both might want to do this. He might also consider
installing flexfax on his Sun: I use it to provide dial-in and
fax-in/fax-out, and use kermit for dial-out, and just posted patches
on the flexfax mailing list on how to make it work with gcc-2.6.2.
It's pretty good about configuring the modems properly, without the
grief of the /dev/cua0 business of uucp.

from Ric Anderson:

I'd get the current C-kermit 5a(190), available for anonymous ftp
from, probably in bin/cku190.tar.Z.

Oh, and its not obvious at first, but you want to
    make sunos41tcp
(or something like that - its been a while since I did a SunOS 4 build)
instead of just "sunos41".

from Jim Anderson:

I had this problem too. The solution is to turn off the scrolling in
cmdtool. If scrolling is turned on, the cr's are automatically and
unavoidably translated into lf's.

from Michael Sullivan:

I seem to recall that there was a bug in 4.1.3's cmdtool that could
cause a similar problem with tip. Perhaps kermit tickles the bug in
the same way. A quick, but not entirely satisfactory work-around was
to disable scrolling in the cmdtool. This will at least let you confirm
that the cmdtool bug is the problem.

There is a patch available from Sun that fixes the bug. Unfortunately,
I don't remember which one does the trick, but I recommend simply
applying _all_ the OpenWindows 3.0 patches -- the unpatched version has
numerous other bugs.

from Frank da Cruz (the authority):

Both versions are ancient. The current version is 5A(190), Oct 4, 1994.
Try the current version and see if this still happens. If it does, it's not
Kermit that's doing it. (It certainly does not happen here, and I *do* have
a SunOS 4.1.3 system.)

Kermit simply does a read() from the console and sends whatever character
is returned by the read. Version 5A(188) and later also allows key mapping,
but that obviously is not a factor here, since you are running old versions.

Yes. New versions of C-Kermit support speeds up to 38400 on SunOS 4.x.x,
and also hardware flow control.

Anonymous ftp to, directory kermit/archives, binary
mode, file cku190.tar.Z. Uncompress, untar, "make sunos41c". Also please
purchase and consult the documentation:

  Frank da Cruz and Christine M. Gianone, "Using C-Kermit", Digital Press /
  Butterworth-Heinemann, Woburn, MA, 1993, 514 pages, ISBN 1-55558-108-0

  US single-copy price: $34.95; quantity discounts available. Available in
  computer bookstores or directly from Columbia University:

    Kermit Development and Distribution
    Columbia University Academic Information Systems
    612 West 115th Street
    New York, NY 10025 USA
    Telephone: (USA) 212 854-3703

  Domestic and overseas orders accepted. Price: $34.95 (US, Canada, and
  Mexico), $45 elsewhere. Orders may be paid by MasterCard or Visa, or
  prepaid by check in US dollars. Add $35 bank fee for checks not drawn on
  a US bank. Price includes shipping. Do not include sales tax.
  Inquire about quantity discounts.

from Kevin Sheehan:

The problem is most likely the stty settings on the two kermits. There
is the icrnl flag (map CR -> NL on input) that the two kermits probably
set differently. Most programs just pass it thru, but some dialers clear
it so what you type is what goes over...

from Dan Stromberg:

1) Try giving them your kermit binary
2) Try comparing terminal modes with "stty -a"

Thanks, guys, and I'll do my best not to be so late next time.

best regards,

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