pTerm: PuTTY for iPhones

Stephen Yagielowicz
Command line savvy techno-geeks rejoice: there's a new app based on the PuTTY feature set that will provide you with a simple SSH client and xterm terminal emulator for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It's called pTerm and version 1.0 is now available at the App Store.

According to its maker, Instant Cocoa, pTerm's features include SSH, Telnet and Raw Socket (TCP) support; along with xterm terminal emulation; a standard 80x24 Unix terminal window; and support for CTRL keys. Users can pinch to zoom in the terminal; and landscape and portrait modes are available.

pTerm is reportedly based on the popular PuTTY admin software and according to a company rep, "if the features are in PuTTY, we can probably provide them on the iPhone!"

The system supports key-based authentication and allows users to generate a key pair on the device and either email it to themselves or read it off of the device. Future versions will support transporting keys to the device.

pTerm works over Edge, 3G, or Wi-Fi connections and is available internationally, having received export approval from the U.S. government.

pTerm is reportedly under active development and feedback is being solicited to help its makers prioritize which features should be deployed first. Version 1.3 is slated to feature shift, page up, page down, F-keys, Alt, and Backquote, along with a number of other enhancements.