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ckaaaa.txt 10 Apr 2004
Communications software for UNIX and (Open)VMS.
And in former versions also for:
Stratus VOS, AOS/VS, QNX,
Plan 9, OS-9, Apollo Aegis, and the Commodore Amiga.
The Apple Macintosh, the Atari ST.
The Kermit Project - Columbia University -
Copyright (C) 1985, 2004,
Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York.
All rights reserved. See the C-Kermit COPYING.TXT file or the
copyright text in the ckcmai.c module for disclaimer and permissions.
C-Kermit is documented in the book "Using C-Kermit", Second Edition, by
Frank da Cruz and Christine M. Gianone, Digital Press, ISBN 1-55558-164-1,
supplementated by Web-based updates for C-Kermit 7.0 and 8.0.
Name Included Last Updated
Unix Yes 8.0.211 10 Apr 2004
(Open)VMS No 8.0.208 10 Apr 2004
Windows (K95) Yes 8.0.208 14 Mar 2003 (K95 2.1)
OS/2 (K95) Yes 8.0.208 14 Mar 2003 (K95 2.1)
DG AOS/VS No 7.0.196 1 Jan 2000
Stratus VOS No 7.0.196 1 Jan 2000
Bell Plan 9 No 7.0.196 1 Jan 2000
Microware OS-9 No 7.0.196 1 Jan 2000
Commodore Amiga No 7.0.196 1 Jan 2000
Macintosh No 5A(190) 16 Aug 1994 (Mac Kermit 0.991)
Atari ST No 5A(189) 30 Jun 1993
If you have a Web browser, go to:
And take it from there. Otherwise...
The definitive FTP source for Kermit software is
Kermit software obtained from other FTP sites is not necessarily complete
or up to date, and may have been modified.
C-Kermit for UNIX computers that have a C compiler and 'make' program:
Directory kermit/archives, binary mode, file cku211.tar.Z or cku211.tar.gz
This is a compressed tar archive of UNIX C-Kermit source code, makefile, and
other files. It unpacks into its current directory, so download it into a
fresh directory. Transfer in binary mode, uncompress (or gunzip), untar (tar
xvf cku211.tar), and then give the appropriate "make" command to build for
your UNIX system; read the comments in the makefile and ckuins.txt for
further info.
C-Kermit for VMS:
If you have VMS UNZIP, get the file kermit/archives/ in binary
mode, unzip, and build with CKVKER.COM.
Others: In the kermit/f or kermit/test directories under the appropriate
prefixes, explained below.
Installation procedures depend on the system. Please read the CK?INS.TXT,
if any, file for your system (?=U for UNIX, V for VMS, etc). Please note
the naming and placement for the initialization files:
The standard initialization file. Please leave it as is unless you
know what you are doing and (if you are changing it or replacing it
for others to use) you are prepared to support it. Rename this file
to .kermrc in UNIX, OS-9, BeBox, or Plan 9. In Stratus VOS, rename
it ckermit.ini (lowercase). On multiuser systems, it goes either in the
(or EACH) user's home (login) directory, or else in a common shared
place if C-Kermit has been configured to look in that place (see
ckccfg.txt for details).
A *sample* customization file. On multiuser OS's, a copy of this file
goes in each user's home directory, and then each user edits it to suit
her needs and preferences; e.g. by defining macros for their common
Dialing directory files can be system-wide, per-group, or per-user, or
any combination. For example, there can be a corporate wide directory
shared by all users, a supplemental directory for each division or
department, and a personal directory for each user. Simply be sure the
dialing directory files are identified a SET DIAL DIRECTORY command in
the user's (or the system-wide) C-Kermit initialization file, or in the
environment variable (logical name, symbol) K_DIAL_DIRECTORY. (The
standard initialization file looks by default in the user's home or login
directory.) When installing C-Kermit on multiuser platforms from which
users will dial out, you can also set environment variables for area
code, country code, and the various dialing prefixes as described on page
478 of "Using C-Kermit" (second edition), so users don't have to worry
about defining these items themselves. Network directories and service
directories can also be set up in a similar manner.
In UNIX, the general C-Kermit man page (or one of the versions tailored
for a specific platform, like HP-UX or Solaris) should be installed in
the appropriate place. In VMS, the VMS help topic (CKVKER.HLP) should
be installed as described in CKVINS.TXT. Plain-text documentation such
as CKERMIT2.TXT should be put in whatever place people are accustomed
to looking.
C-Kermit is a family of Kermit programs for many different computer systems.
The program shares a common set of system-independent file transfer protocol
modules, written in the C language. System-dependent operations are collected
into system-specific modules for each system.
C-Kermit file names all start with the letters "CK", followed by a single
letter indicating the subgroup. When referring to these files in the UNIX,
AOS/VS, or VOS environments, use lowercase letters, rather than the uppercase
letters shown here. Subgroups:
_: Security/Authentication/Encryption code, possibly regulated by law
a: General descriptive material and documentation
b: BOO file encoders and decoders (obsolete)
c: All platforms with C compilers
d: Data General AOS/VS
e: Reserved for "ckermit" files, like CKERMIT.INI, CKERMIT80.TXT
f: (reserved)
g: (reserved)
h: (reserved)
i: Commodore Amiga (Intuition)
j: (unused)
k: (unused)
l: Stratus VOS
m: Macintosh with Mac OS
n: Microsoft Windows NT
o: OS/2 and/or Microsoft Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP/...
p: Bell Labs Plan 9
q: (reserved)
r: DEC PDP-11 with RSTS/E (reserved)
s: Atari ST GEMDOS (last supported in version 5A(189))
t: DEC PDP-11 with RT-11 (reserved)
u: UNIX or environments with UNIX-like C libraries
v: VMS and OpenVMS
w: Wart (Lex-like preprocessor, used with all systems)
x: (reserved)
y: (reserved)
z: (reserved)
0-3: (reserved)
4: IBM AS/400 (reserved)
5-8: (reserved)
9: Microware OS-9
ckaaaa.txt - This file
ckufio.c - File i/o for UNIX
ckstio.c - Communications i/o for the Atari ST
makefile - makefile for building UNIX C-Kermit - makefile for building Plan 9 C-Kermit - build procedure for VMS C-Kermit
IMPORTANT FILES (use lowercase names on UNIX, VOS, or AOS/VS):
ckaaaa.txt - This file (overview of the C-Kermit files).
For system-specific distributions, this will normally
be replaced by a system-specific READ.ME file.
ckermit70.txt - Updates: Supplement to "Using C-Kermit", 2nd Ed, for 7.0.
ckermit80.txt - Updates: Supplement to "Using C-Kermit", 2nd Ed, for 8.0.
ckututor.txt - C-Kermit Tutorial for Unix (plain text)
ckcbwr.txt - "Beware file" (limitations, known bugs, hints), general.
ckermit.ini - Standard initialization file (rename to .kermrc in UNIX, OS-9)
ckermod.ini - Sample customization file (rename to .mykermrc in UNIX, OS-9)
The following can be found at the Kermit FTP site:
ckermit.kdd - Sample dialing directory file (rename to .kdd in UNIX, OS-9)
ckermit.knd - Sample dialing directory file (rename to .knd in UNIX, OS-9)
ckermit.ksd - Sample services directory file (rename to .ksd in UNIX, OS-9)
ckedemo.ksc - Demonstration macros from "Using C-Kermit"
ckepage.ksc - Ditto
ckevt.ksc - Ditto
UNIX-specific files:
ckuins.txt - UNIX-specific installation instructions.
ckubwr.txt - UNIX-specific beware file. - "man page" for UNIX.
VMS-specific files:
ckvins.txt - VMS-specific installation instructions.
ckvbwr.txt - VMS-specific beware file
ckvker.hlp - VMS C-Kermit HELP topic (needs updating).
DG AOS/VS-specific files:
ckdins.txt - Data General AOS/VS C-Kermit installation instructions
ckdbwr.txt - AOS/VS "beware" file
ckd*.cli - Procedures for building AOS/VS C-Kermit
The following files are of interest mainly to programmers and historians
(find them at the Kermit ftp site):
ckcker.ann - Release announcements.
ckccfg.txt - Configuration information (feature selection), general.
ckcplm.txt - Program logic manual (for programmers).
ckc211.txt - Program update history for edit 201-211.
ckc200.txt - Program update history for edit 198-200 (big)
ckc197.txt - Program update history for edit 195-197 (big)
ckc190.txt - Program update history for edits 189-190 (big).
ckc188.txt - Program update history, edits 179-188 (big).
ckc178.txt - Program edit history, 5A edits through 178 (very big).
ckcv4f.txt - Program edit history, version 4F.
ckcv4e.txt - Program edit history, version 4E.
If you have FTP access to (also known as,, you can also retrieve various
C-Kermit binaries from the directory kermit/bin/ck*.*, or more conventiently
from the web page:
Test versions would be in kermit/test/bin/ck*.*. Be sure to transfer these
files in binary mode. The READ.ME file in that directory explains what's
The source files for the UNIX version (all UNIX versions) are available in
kermit/archives/ckuNNN.tar.Z, approximately 1MB in size. Transfer this file
in binary mode. This is a compressed tar archive. There is also a gzip'd
version, cku211.tar.gz. To get the binary tar archive:
mkdir kermit (at shell prompt, make a Kermit directory)
cd kermit (make it your current directory)
ftp (make an ftp connection)
user: anonymous (log in as user "anonymous", lower case!)
password: (use your email id as a password)
cd kermit/archives (go to the archives directory)
type binary (specify binary file transfer)
get cku211.tar.Z (get the tar archive) (or get cku192.tar.gz)
bye (disconnect and exit from ftp)
uncompress cku211.tar.Z (at the shell prompt, uncompress the archive)
tar xvf cku211.tar (extract the files from the tar archive)
make xxx (build C-Kermit for your system)
(where "xxx" is the makefile entry appropriate for your system.)
All C-Kermit source and other text files are also kept separately in the
kermit/f directory. The files necessary to build a particular implementation
of C-Kermit are listed in the appropriate makefile or equivalent:
UNIX: makefile (or rename ckuker.mak to makefile)
2.11 BSD: ckubs2.mak (rename to makefile), ckustr.sed
Plan 9: (rename to mkfile)
Macintosh: ckmker.mak (rename to kermit.make, use MPW C 3.2)
VMS: CKVKER.COM (DCL) (and optionally also CKVKER.MMS)
or CKVOLD.COM (for VMS 4.x)
OS-9: ck9ker.mak or ck9ker.gcc
AOS/VS: ckdmak.cli, ckdcc.cli, ckdlnk.cli
Stratus VOS:
Minimal source files for building selected versions (these patterns get all
the files you need, and in some cases maybe a few extra):
UNIX: ck[cuw]*.[cwh] (including QNX, Plan 9, and BeBox)
UNIX: ck[cuw_]*.[cwh] (Unix with security modules)
VMS: ck[cuwv]*.[cwh]
Mac: ck[cuwm]*.[cwhr]
AOS/VS: ck[cuwd]*.[cwh]
VOS: ck[cwhl]*.[cwh]
Amiga: ck[cuwi]*.[cwh]
Atari: ck[cuws]*.[cwh]
OS-9: ck[cuw9]*.[cwha]
For a detailed, specific source file list for this C-Kermit release, see the
file ckcxxx.txt, where xxx is the current C-Kermit edit number, such as 211.
Finally, here is a more detailed description of the C-Kermit file naming
conventions. A C-Kermit filename has the form:
<system> is described earlier in this file;
<type> is the file type (use lowercase on UNIX, VOS, or AOS/VS):
c: C language source
h: Header file for C language source
w: Wart preprocessor source, converted by Wart (or Lex) to a C program
r: Macintosh resource file (8-bit text)
a: Assembler source
txt: Plain text.
nr: Nroff/Troff text formatter source for UNIX "man page"
mss: Scribe text formatter source
ps: Typeset material to be printed on a PostScript printer
hlp: A VMS Help topic
ini: Initialization file
ksc: A Kermit Script to be executed by the TAKE command
kdd: A Kermit Dialing Directory
knd: A Kermit Network Directory
ksd: A Kermit Services Directory
mak: A Makefile or other build procedure (often needs renaming)
com: (VMS only) a DCL command procedure
cli: (AOS/VS only) a command procedure
cmd: (OS/2 only) a Rexx command procedure
boo: "boo"-encoded executable program, decode with CKBUNB program.
hex: "hex"-encoded executable program, decode with CKVDEH program (VMS only).
hqx: BinHex'd Macintosh Kermit program, decode with BinHex version 4.0.
uue: A uuencoded binary file, decode with uudecode or (DG only) CKDECO.
def: An OS/2 linker definitions file.
sh: A UNIX shell script.
sed: A UNIX sed (editor) script.
str: A file of character strings extracted from C-Kermit (BSD 2.1x only).
<what> is mnemonic (up to 3 characters) for what's in the file:
NOTE: After C-Kermit 6.0, text filetypes such as .DOC and .HLP were changed
to .TXT to avoid confusion in Windows-based Web browsers, which would
otherwise mistake them for Microsoft Word or Windows Help documents.
aaa: A "read-me" file, like this one
ins: Installation instructions or procedures
bwr: "Beware" file -- things to watch out for, hints and tips
plm: Program Logic Manual
ker: General C-Kermit definitions, information, documentation
nnn: Digits: C-Kermit edit number (e.g. cku211.tar.gz)
cmd: Command parsing
con: CONNECT command
cns: CONNECT command (UNIX only - version that uses select(), not fork())
deb: Debug/Transaction Log formats, Typedefs
dia: Modem/Dialer control
fio: System-depdendent File I/O
fns: Protocol support functions
fn2: More protocol support functions (and FN3, ...)
lib: Common library routines module
mai: Main program
net: Network i/o module
pro: Protocol
scr: SCRIPT command
tel: Telnet protocol module
tio: System-dependent communications i/o & control and interrupt handing
sig: Signal handling module
usr: Interactive/script user interface
us2: More user interface (mainly help text)
us3: Still more user interface (and USR4, USR5, USR6, USR7)
usx: Common user interface functions
usy: Command-line parsing
xla: Character set translation module
uni: Unicode support
pty: Pseudoterminal support
mdb: Malloc-debugging module (not included in real builds)
str: Strings module (only for 2.xBSD)
(End of ckaaaa.txt)