This document is obsolete. Please
refer to RFC 930.
Network Working Group Marvin Solomon Request for Comments: 884 Edward Wimmers University of Wisconsin - Madison December 1983
TELNET TERMINAL TYPE OPTION
This RFC specifies a standard for the ARPA Internet community. Hosts on the ARPA Internet that exchange terminal type information within the Telnet protocol are expected to adopt and implement this standard.
This option allows a telnet server to determine the type of terminal connected to a user telnet program. The transmission of such information does not immediately imply any change of processing. However, the information may be passed to a process, which may alter the data it sends to suit the particular characteristics of the terminal. For example, some operating systems have a terminal driver that accepts a code indicating the type of terminal being driven. Using the TERMINAL TYPE and BINARY options, a telnet server program on such a system could arrange to have terminals driven as if they were directly connected, including such special functions as cursor addressing, multiple colors, etc., not included in the Network Virtual Terminal specification. This option fits into the normal structure of TELNET options by deferring the actual transfer of status information to the SB command.
WILL and DO are used only to obtain and grant permission for future discussion. The actual exchange of status information occurs within option subcommands (IAC SB TERMINAL-TYPE...).
Once the two hosts have exchanged a WILL and a DO, the sender of the WILL TERMINAL-TYPE is free to transmit type information, spontan- eously or in response to a request from the sender of the DO. At worst, this may lead to transmitting the information twice. Only the sender of the DO may send requests (IAC SB TERMINAL-TYPE SEND IAC SE) and only the sender of the WILL may transmit actual type information (within an IAC SB TERMINAL-TYPE IS ... IAC SE command).
The terminal type information is an NVT ASCII string. Within this string, upper and lower case are considered equivalent. A few terminal type names useful in the context of IBM systems are listed below. It is anticipated that additional names will be added in the future. The complete list of valid terminal types will be found in the latest "Assigned Numbers" RFC.
The "terminal type" information may be any NVT ASCII string meaning- ful to both ends of the negotiation. The list of suggestions below is intended to minimize confusion caused by alternative "spellings" of the terminal type. For example, confusion would arise if one party were to call a terminal "IBM3278-2" while the other called it "IBM-3278/2". There is no negative acknowledgement for a terminal type that is not understood, but certain other options (such as switching to BINARY mode) may be refused if a valid terminal type name has not been specified. In some cases, a particular terminal may be known by more than one name, for example a specific type and a more generic type. In such cases, the sender of the TERMINAL-TYPE IS command should reply to successive TERMINAL-TYPE SEND commands with the various names, from most to least specific. In this way, a telnet server that does not understand the first response can prompt for alternatives. However, it should cease sending TERMINAL-TYPE SEND commands after receiving the same response two consecutive times. Similarly, a sender should indicate it has sent all available names by repeating the last one sent.
Here are a few terminal types useful in the IBM environment: