vmsterm / vaxterm

A very nice terminal emulation using xterm and some tweaks.

It requires xterm installed on your computer ;)

From http://invisible-island.net/xterm/xterm.faq.html:

This script is for people who wish to connect from a Linux or Unix computer to a VMS computer using telnet and get a good VT100 or VT220 emulation. The key mappings have been specifically designed to emulate the VT terminal auxiliary numeric keypad, so that you can use VMS EDT and TPU editors, as well as the many VMS applications use keys PF1 to PF4. The script should work with any recent version of Xterm using a standard extended IBM PC keyboard or a Sun keyboard.

About the keymappings. First the auxiliary numeric keypad. My prime objective with these mappings was to produce a setup that I could use with the EDT and TPU editors which make extensive use of the numeric keypad. The top row of keys PC numeric keypad (Num Lock, Divide, Multiply, Subtract) are where you find PF1, PF2, PF3, PF4 on a VT keyboard, so I have mapped them to PF1 thru PF4. The PC numeric keypad Add key (+) takes up the space of two keys which are Minus and Comma on the VT keyboard – I have mapped it to Comma (Delete Character in the EDT editor). I have then used the PC Pause key to map to VT key Minus (Delete Word in the EDT editor). The remaining keys on the auxiliary numeric keypad are the same for PC and VT.

The six keys between the main and numeric keypads on the PC (Insert, Home, Page Up, Delete End, Page Down) are usually mapped to the VT keys by either position or by (approximate) function. As I rarely use these keys I have mapped them by function as follows: PC key Insert to VT Insert Here, PC Home to VT Find, PC Page Up to VT Prev, PC Delete to VT Remove, PC End to VT Select, PC Page Down to VT Next.

Function keys

There are 12 function keys on the PC keyboard and 20 on the VT keyboard, so I map PC F1 thru F12 to VT F1 thru F12 (except for F1 thru F7 as noted below) and PC Shift F1 thru Shift F10 to VT F11 thru F20. The VT keys F1 thru F5 are local hardware function keys so there is nothing to emulate, however some PC to VT emulations in the past have mapped PF1 thru PF4 here, so I have done that too, even though they are already mapped on the auxiliary numeric keypad.

F6 is now mapped to Keypad ENTER, that's very useful! F7 is now mapped to the 7 in the numeric keypad, useful to enter command mode in RT-11 EDIT pressing PF1-keypad 7!

Xterm functionality

You lose some xterm functions when you remap the keyboard, however this script implements a scroll back buffer of 1000 lines which you scroll through using Shift and Up (a.k.a. Up Arrow or Cursor Up key) or Shift and Down.

A summary of the keyboard mapping

PC Key     maps to   VT Key.
------               ------
F1                   PF1
F2                   PF2
F3                   PF3
F4                   PF4
F5                   unused
F6                   Keypad ENTER
F7                   Keypad 7
F8                   F8
F9                   F9
F10                  F10
F11                  F11
F12                  F12
Shift F1             F11
Shift F2             F12
Shift F3             F13
Shift F4             F14
Shift F5             F15 (Help)
Shift F6             F16 (Do)
Shift F7             F17
Shift F8             F18
Shift F9             F19
Shift F10            F20
Shift F11            F11
Shift F12            F12
Print                Help (F15)
Cancel               Do   (F16)
Pause                Keypad Minus

Insert               Insert Here
Delete               Remove
Home                 Find
End                  Select
Prior                Prev
Next                 Next
BackSpace            BackSpace (sends DEL - ascii 127)

Num_Lock             PF1
KP_Divide            PF2
KP_Multiply          PF3
KP_Subtract          PF4
KP_Add               Keypad Comma
KP_Enter             Enter
KP_Decimal           Period
KP_0                 Keypad 0
KP_1                 Keypad 1
KP_2                 Keypad 2
KP_3                 Keypad 3
KP_4                 Keypad 4
KP_5                 Keypad 5
KP_6                 Keypad 6
KP_7                 Keypad 7
KP_8                 Keypad 8
KP_9                 Keypad 9
Up                   Up
Shift Up             Scroll Back
Down                 Down
Shift Down           Scroll Forward
Right                Right
Left                 Left

And here's the script! :)


How to use:

 Usage  : vmsterm -options

 Options: -80   for 80 column terminal
          -132  for 132 column terminal
          -bg colorname
          -fg colorname
          -fn fontname
          -fb bold fontname
          -host hostname portnum

 Example: "vmsterm -80 -fg white -bg black -fn 9x15 -fb 9x15b -host earth"
          Starts a session with an 80 column terminal
          with a black background, white foreground, a normal
          font of 9x15 and a bold font of 9x15b, and connects
          to the node 'earth'

 Example: "vmsterm -host earth portnum"
          Starts a session with default terminal settings 

 Example: "vmsterm -help"
          Displays vmsterm options 

How to use EDIT/KED editor under RT-11 with vmsterm

We can edit files in RT-11 using EDIT/KED, a visual editor for VT100 terminals. This involve use of numeric keypad and PF1...PF4 keys on the VT100 terminal. Main problem is: how to save/exit from the editor under a telnet session via terminal emulator?

We can create and edit a file as follow:

edit/cre file.txt

To save/exit:

Useful commands are write, exit, there are other commands described in the manual linked under References section. Every command must be terminated with the numeric keypad ENTER, so pressing F6. :)


* http://invisible-island.net/xterm/xterm.faq.html

* http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/pdf/dec/pdp11/rt11/v4.0_Mar80/2b/AA-H853A-TC_PDP-11_Keypad_Editor_Users_Guide_Mar80.pdf

* ...



Rt11VmsTerm (last edited 2017-10-03 12:33:49 by asbesto)