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H.5. Other Interesting Packages

There are several other packages commonly available on Linux systems that you may be interested in using. You can find out about them by reading the appropriate HOWTO files and other accompanying documentation.

The term utility is a client/server system that allows you to multiplex your serial line--that is, you can log in multiple times over a single dial-up connection. term includes additional features allowing you to run network clients (such as Telnet, FTP, and Netscape Navigator) over the serial line. You can even use term to display remote X Window System clients on your local machine. So you can simultaneously run a remote X session, download files, and send mail, for example. This capability is most useful if your modem can handle high-speed data transfer; you can get comfortable performance with a 28.8 Kbps (preferably v.34-compliant) modem.

term is somewhat like PPP (discussed in the section "Section 15.2, "Dial-up PPP"" in Chapter 15, "TCP/IP and PPP") but term can be executed as a normal user: no need for root access on either the client or server side, and no need for a special PPP dial-in server.

To use term, you need a dial-in shell account on a Unix system. You build the term software both on that Unix system and on your Linux machine. You dial in to the remote system and execute term there; it now handles all data to and from your dial-in connection. On your local machine, you place the communications program in the background and execute term to control the dial-in connection from your Linux system. The two instances of term are now communicating over the modem line.

To log in to the remote session over the term-controlled line, you can use trsh. This starts a remote shell over the modem line. You can run trsh many times (in different windows or virtual consoles), starting multiple logins to the remote machine, for example.

You can also use various network clients with term. These include Telnet, FTP, mail readers, and the like. These clients must be specially compiled to use term. Many of them are available for Linux. In order for them to work, the remote system must be connected to the Internet (or another local network); network requests are redirected to the remote system over the modem line. This way, it appears as though your system is connected to the network; you can telnet or ftp to any other system on the Internet directly from your Linux machine. The WWW browser Netscape Navigator, discussed in the section "Section 16.1.1, "Using Netscape Navigator"" in Chapter 16, "The World Wide Web and Electronic Mail", works with term as well.

Two other packages are worth mentioning. pcomm is a data-communications package that intentionally resembles the ProComm for DOS package, the most popular DOS communications package. Seyon offers a powerful suite of terminal-emulation and data-communications tools.

If we've missed your favorite file-transfer or data-communications tool, we apologize. This is certainly an area where available Linux tools offer an embarrassment of riches. On the other hand, if you are clinging to more primitive utilities, we hope this appendix has given you the opportunity to learn and use more powerful tools.

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