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JBrink.net has released TouchTerm [$2.99, App Store], the first SSH client for the iPhone. Features include:

- Wi-Fi and EDGE/3G support: access and administer your servers from anywhere
- Control over font size and color
- Landscape mode support
- The ability to scroll over terminal output
- Saved connection parameters and passwords (if desired)
- A cross-session command history for quickly re-executing or editing previously entered commands
- No terminal emulation

Power users may want to wait until TouchTerm Pro is released which promises "a powerful, easy-to-use remote administration tool over SSH."

Terminal emulation, however, appears to be lacking in the current version of TouchTerm which makes it only useful for the simplest of uses. While the developer promises Terminal emulation to be available in a future free update, it's hard to recommend this app without it.

If you are willing to wait a little longer, however, Zinger-Soft is planning on releasing a more full featured SSH client for $4.99 called iSSH:
That being said, zinger-soft's app is complete and is simply awaiting government approval. It includes VT100, VT102, VT220, ANSI, xterm, and xterm-color emulation. It supports dynamically resizable terminals, fonts, and portrait and landscape mode (and, depending on the font, anywhere from 40x21 to 80x40). All the exotic key combinations (Ctrl-Shift-Up, for instance) are there. It has support for multiple simultaneous connections and maintains a list of open connections (as well as a default connection configuration list) that one will be able to reference and reconnect to on reopening the application. There is a scroll back buffer implemented in the standard iPhone scroll view interface, along with gesture arrow keys. Finally, it contains an X Server so one can switch between graphical and console input as necessary (and possible). Of course, for all the open sessions, the X Server is the same, so multiple machines will send their X clients to the same X Server.


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gibbz

macrumors 68030
May 31, 2007
2,697
100
This is great news. I have been waiting for this for awhile. I might wait until the Pro version comes out, but regardless, I am happy to see something out. I'll be interested in hearing how people like it.
 
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dissdnt

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2007
1,488
1
Wow Apple let this slide too. Crazy. Either they don't care or aren't paying any attention to what they are allowing hehe.
 
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Spades

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2003
461
0
An SSH client with good terminal support...and an X server! I'll gladly wait for that, especially at $4.99. It'll be interesting to see how well different X clients handle the strange display dimension. I also wonder if iSSH will have a way to do click and drag or if you just have to work around not having it.
 
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iPhone3G

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2008
37
0
I know it's probably a terribly stupid question, but these sorts of things interest me and I enjoy learning about them.

What is this SSH stuff, and what does this app do?
 
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kingtj

macrumors 68030
Oct 23, 2003
2,606
747
Brunswick, MD
re: What does this do?

SSH is an abbreviation for "secure shell" ... It's a protocol similar to "telnet" in many ways, which basically lets you remotely control the command prompt of another computer.

Traditionally, you'd use this with a Unix based computer of some sort (operating systems like Linux, or even remote controlling the command line prompt in OS X that you'd normally get by clicking on the "Terminal" icon in the Utilities folder).

SSH is superior to using "telnet" to accomplish the same task though, because it creates a secure, encrypted connection. (Someone can't "sniff" the packets of data and see a copy of what you type and what comes back to your iPhone's screen by intercepting the traffic in the middle.)


I know it's probably a terribly stupid question, but these sorts of things interest me and I enjoy learning about them.

What is this SSH stuff, and what does this app do?
 
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mcoyne

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2005
38
0
Durham, NC
Awesome! And it's about time. I can't believe apple didn't include ssh access out of the box. It makes the iphone the killer sysadmin app.
 
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iPhone3G

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2008
37
0
Thank you very much, excellent explanation.

SSH is an abbreviation for "secure shell" ... It's a protocol similar to "telnet" in many ways, which basically lets you remotely control the command prompt of another computer.

Traditionally, you'd use this with a Unix based computer of some sort (operating systems like Linux, or even remote controlling the command line prompt in OS X that you'd normally get by clicking on the "Terminal" icon in the Utilities folder).

SSH is superior to using "telnet" to accomplish the same task though, because it creates a secure, encrypted connection. (Someone can't "sniff" the packets of data and see a copy of what you type and what comes back to your iPhone's screen by intercepting the traffic in the middle.)
 
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macaron1

macrumors member
Sep 30, 2007
41
0
London
Agree that terminal emulation is a must for a SSH client to be really useful.

Btw, is dropping to the command line on the iPhone against the SDK terms? Would be cool to be able to do so, even if it was simply a chrooted directory, away from system files and all, and to ssh or scp to other locations from there.

Also, while it doesn't hurt the pocket, it feels retrograde (and somewhat Windows-ish) to have to pay for a SSH client! Wonder at what point open-source will start providing for such simple tools on the iPhone?

Maybe Apple should waive the nominal $99 sign-up fee for OS projects on the iPhone.

I digressed.
 
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darkfiber

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2008
821
42
Columbus, OH USA
Wow Apple let this slide too. Crazy. Either they don't care or aren't paying any attention to what they are allowing hehe.

What are you talking about??? SSH is a very good thing! What you should NOT be using at this point is a TELNET client (and there is one in the App store).
 
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JCC

macrumors newbie
Aug 28, 2007
19
0
I think the crucial bit of information dissdnt is missing is that this is an ssh client, not an ssh server. You log into other computers with this, not iPhones. AFAIK, iPhones don't come with ssh servers, so obviously, you can't use an ssh client to log into them.
 
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maokh

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2007
260
18
Seattle, WA
wow ... i really wish this company would have taken a hint from some of the jailbreak terminals, which are almost a year old.

gestures, full terminal emulation, etc. are available on these and it works great. like flicking for arrow keys, floating menus on finger hold, hidden scrollback on the right.

I understand that these were actual terminals, but by building an ssh client that used the terminal emulation piece of the software, it would pretty much be the same thing.

I am completely willing to pay a small amount for this.

What is this talk about "X Server"? Do they actually mean an X Client (phone logs into a remote x server and lets you see whats on the screen or use various apps), or an X Server that laptops near the phone can connect through and to the remote host?
 
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Spades

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2003
461
0
The X Window System runs backwards from what most people think of when they think client and server. Just about everybody is confused by it at first.

The X server is basically the part of the system that displays the application and accepts user input. An X client is an application that does the grunt work and connects to the X server for user interaction. So having iSSH means that you can have a program running remotely (the X client) that will do its interaction with the user through the iPhone (the X server).

If you launch X11 on your desktop, that's an X server. Programs like The GIMP are the clients.

Hopefully iSSH will also have a built-in window manager that can handle the quirks of the touch interface and screen dimensions.

AFAIK, iPhones don't come with ssh servers, so obviously, you can't use an ssh client to log into them.

Unless you jailbreak. :)
 
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dr_lha

macrumors 68000
Oct 8, 2003
1,599
33
Touchterm doesn't appear to be in the UK store.
Speculation: ssh is encryption, which is export limited by ITAR. It might be illegal for Apple to distribute an SSH client outside of the USA without a specific license from the State Department.
 
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tedsmith3rd

macrumors member
Aug 30, 2006
54
0
US
wow ... i really wish this company would have taken a hint from some of the jailbreak terminals, which are almost a year old.

gestures, full terminal emulation, etc. are available on these and it works great. like flicking for arrow keys, floating menus on finger hold, hidden scrollback on the right.

I understand that these were actual terminals, but by building an ssh client that used the terminal emulation piece of the software, it would pretty much be the same thing.

Keep in mind that those apps were pre-2.0 and they utilize things which apple has intentionally left out of the official SDK. For example raw sockets or parts of UIKit (like custom keyboards) are not in there. Also, apps are now in a kind of sandbox that prevents you from doing some things which you could do in a jailbroken environment. Developers could get access to most of these functions by class-dumping 2.0, but then their apps would be breaking the iphone developer agreement by using undocumented Apple APIs... so there are some obstacles.
 
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BornAgainMac

macrumors 604
Feb 4, 2004
6,640
3,849
Florida Resident
It cost $100 for this to be on the blackberry and my blackberry had a phone keyboard layout with the 3 letters per key and was to slow to be usable for me.

I am looking forward to their updates but this is a good start and I can at least do basic tasks remotely without a laptop on the servers I support.
 
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Brett3rThanU

macrumors regular
May 14, 2008
110
0
Now if my work would just allow my iPhone to connect through the VPN I could do my job from my iPhone :)
 
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