Internet Kermit Service
RFC 2839

Document Type RFC - Informational (May 2000; Errata)
Last updated 2013-08-22
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Network Working Group                                        F. da Cruz
Request for Comments: 2839                                    J. Altman
Category: Informational                             Columbia University
                                                               May 2000

                        Internet Kermit Service

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000).  All Rights Reserved.

ABSTRACT

   This document describes a new file transfer service for the Internet
   based on Telnet Protocol for option negotiation and Kermit Protocol
   for file transfer and management.  The Internet Kermit Service
   provides access to both authenticated and anonymous users.  The use
   of Kermit protocol over a Telnet connection provides several
   advantages over FTP, including easy traversal of firewalls, transfers
   over multiple transports, and security via a combination of supported
   Telnet authentication and encryption option negotiations, plus
   significant functional benefits.  While this document describes a new
   service for the Internet, the clients for this service already exist
   on most platforms in the form of Telnet clients that support the
   Kermit file transfer protocol.  These clients are available not only
   from Columbia University's Kermit Project but also numerous third
   parties.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

   1. INTRODUCTION ................................................ 2
   2. BACKGROUND .................................................. 3
   2.1. History ................................................... 3
   2.2. Motivation ................................................ 4
   3. THE INTERNET KERMIT SERVICE MODEL ........................... 7
   3.1. Server-Side Kermit Server ................................. 7
   3.2. Client-Side Kermit Server ................................. 8
   3.3. Loosely Coupled Operation ................................. 9
   4. SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS .....................................10
   4.1. AUTHENTICATION ............................................10
   4.1.1. Telnet Authentication ...................................10
   4.1.2. Telnet over TLS option ..................................11

da Cruz & Altman             Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 2839                Internet Kermit Service                 May 2000

   4.1.3. Plaintext Authentication via Kermit REMOTE LOGIN ........11
   4.1.4. Plaintext Authentication via Command Prompt .............11
   4.1.5. Anonymous Login .........................................12
   4.2. ENCRYPTION (PRIVACY) ......................................12
   4.2.1  Telnet Encryption .......................................12
   4.2.2  Telnet Start_TLS ........................................12
   5. SERVICES ....................................................13
   5.1. Features for System Administrators ........................13
   5.2. Features for Users ........................................14
   5.3. User Interface ............................................16
   6. REFERENCES ..................................................18
   7. AUTHORS' ADDRESSES ..........................................19
   8. Full Copyright Statement ....................................20

PREFACE

   This document describes an Internet Kermit Service (IKS) which
   provides an alternative to FTP for the transfer of files.  This
   service is based upon both the TELNET protocol and the Kermit file
   transfer protocol.

1. INTRODUCTION

   The Internet Kermit Service:

   1. Provides direct access to Kermit file transfer and management
      services without requiring the user to first login to a shell
      account;

   2. Provides Kermit file transfer and management services to anonymous
      users;

   3. Provides services to all Telnet clients that support Kermit file
      transfer protocol via a simple, predictable, scriptable, and
      well-documented textual interface;

   4. Provides direct and tightly-coupled access to a Kermit server when
      requested via the Telnet Kermit Option [TKO].

   This memo assumes knowledge of Transmission Control Protocol, the
   Telnet Protocol [TEL], the Kermit File Transfer Protocol [KER,PRF],
   Telnet Kermit Option [TKO], and the commands and features of Kermit
   software [CKB,CMG,K95].

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [BCP].

da Cruz & Altman             Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 2839                Internet Kermit Service                 May 2000

   Definitions:

   Kermit server
      A software program that is ready to accept and act upon commands
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