NiftyTelnet is a freeware telnet client for the Macintosh. Version
1.1 is now available.
Here is a selection of key features available in NiftyTelnet:
- OpenTransport native
- Kerberos V4 Authentication, Authentication passing, and Encryption (if
Authentication Manager is installed)
- Command-click to launch URLs (if Internet Config V1.1 or greater
- Support for unrestricted window resizing (will automatically notify
modern telnet servers of the new size)
- Supports the GURL Apple Event so you can use NiftyTelnet as
your Telnet helper application.
- Complete VT102 emulation (with the exception of remote printing codes)
- Full support for Macintosh Drag & Drop
- Double-clickable shortcut files
NiftyTelnet comes in several flavors below. Due to U.S. export laws,
only U.S. citizens or residents may download versions which support
encryption. A non-encrypting version is available for non-U.S.
The distributions are binhexed StuffIt! files which StuffIt
Expander can decode. Each binary distribution includes the
application, an apple guide, a README file, the Navigator Telnet Fix
utility, and a PGP signature file. The MacBinarized version of the
application is signed by Chris
Newman's Public Key and may be verified using MacPGP.
Although signature verification is optional, it does give some
assurance that the application has not been modified to include a
virus or trojan horse.
U.S. Citizens, U.S. Residents: How to get it
Export of this software from the United States of America may require
a specific license from the United States Government.
NiftyTelnet 68K Version 1.1 (StuffIt/BinHex: 174K)
NiftyTelnet PowerPC Version 1.1 (StuffIt/BinHex: 190K)
NiftyTelnet FAT Version 1.1 (StuffIt/BinHex: 257K)
Non-U.S. Citizens/Residents: How to get it
A non-encrypting version is available for non-U.S. Citizens/Residents:
NiftyTelnet FAT Version 1.1 (no encryption) (StuffIt/BinHex: 253K)
NiftyTelnet Frequently Asked Questions
- Why doesn't NiftyTelnet work as a "telnet helper" for
The versions of Netscape I have tested use a non-standard technique to
launch telnet helper applications. I refuse to bloat NiftyTelnet to
support non-standard behavior of other programs. If you set your
Netscape telnet helper to Navigator Telnet Fix, then
Netscape's non-standard behavior will be translated into a standard
launch of the telnet helper you select via
- Why doesn't printing from Pine work?
NiftyTelnet does not yet support printing. It will be added in
- Why can't I edit what I'm typing when I use NiftyTelnet to
connect to a MUD or non-telnet port?
NiftyTelnet does not yet support "linemode" which is needed by these
servers. It will be added in version 1.2.
- Why don't the cursor keys work?
Try changing the setting of the "Emacs Arrow Keys" option. If that
doesn't work, you need to make sure your telnet server is configured
- Why doesn't NiftyTelnet include an FTP server?
I recommend using Peter Lewis's NetPresenz.
I see no reason to reinvent the wheel in a telnet client when Peter
Lewis has done such a fine job.
- When will the next version be released?
I work on NiftyTelnet as a hobby and can not predict how much spare
time I will have. Therefore I refuse to give release dates.
- What do I tell my Internet service provider to get the username option working?
NiftyTelnet uses that field for two things: (1) if
your server supports Kerberos Authentication and you have
Authentication Manager installed, it uses it to select credentials.
(2) it sends it as the "USER" environment variable via the NEW-ENVIRON
(with fallback to ENVIRON) telnet option. So you can ask your ISP for
either Kerberos V4 telnet authentication (RFC 1411, 1415: a good idea
since it avoids sending your cleartext password over the network) or
support for passing the "USER" environment variable via the
NEW-ENVIRON telnet option (RFC 1572, which just saves you typing your
Major changes from version 1.0
- Configurable foreground & background colors
- Adjustable Scrollback buffer size
- OpenTransport native support
- Improved keyboard support, including page up/page down.
- Drag into NiftyTelnet window now supported
- Double-clickable shortcut files
- Bug fixes and improved user interface
- Authentication Manager
A Kerberos V4 implementation for the Macintosh available from the
University of Michigan. NiftyTelnet will automatically recognize the
presence of Authentication Manager and enable authentication and
encryption if the telnet server supports it.
- Internet Config
Internet Config provides a single interface to set preferences common
to many Internet applications. NiftyTelnet uses Internet Config to
launch URLs and determine the default telnet host.
Telnet for Unix
Use of a modern telnet server such as the one available here is
recommended for best results with NiftyTelnet.
- Other Macintosh
Here is a useful page listing kerberos resources for the Macintosh.
Telnet Security Reference Page
Documentation of telnet security as used in NiftyTelnet.
Bug reports and comments should be sent to Chris Newman. Suggestions
for new features are welcome, although I will only implement
suggestions that I feel fit the philosophy of the program. Please
check the FAQ above before sending email.
Sometimes trying out the problem with the following versions can help
me track the bug:
NiftyTelnet FAT Debugging Version 1.1 (StuffIt/BinHex: 298K)
NiftyTelnet 68K Version 1.0 (StuffIt/StuffIt/BinHex: 99K)
NiftyTelnet PPC Version 1.0 (StuffIt/StuffIt/BinHex: 112K)
NiftyTelnet is designed to be reliable, efficient and easy to
configure. Most of the code in NiftyTelnet has been rewritten at least
once, and some of the machine independent code has been in development
since 1988. It was built entirely from scratch without using bulky
Macintosh application frameworks or libraries.
Return to CMU Computing Services security software distribution page
Chris Newman /