Microsoft KB Archive/105234

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Windows NT Telnet Uses VT100 for UNIX Terminal Emulation

Article ID: 105234

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1

This article was previously published under Q105234

If a user logs into a UNIX machine using the TELNET command from Windows NT and some screen-oriented UNIX utilities do not function properly or show garbage on the screen, the user's TERMCAP may not be set properly. Because Windows NT Terminal (used for TELNET) defaults to VT100 emulation, the TERMCAP should be set for VT100 on the UNIX machine.

Use the following procedure to verify your terminal type when using a Bourne Shell:

  1. Establish a TELNET session and log on to the UNIX machine.
  2. Type the following at the UNIX prompt (usually a $):


  3. Verify that the environment variable TERM is set to VT100.
  4. If the TERM variable is not set to VT100, at the UNIX prompt, type the following and press ENTER:

    set TERM=vt100

  5. Type the following and press ENTER:

    export TERM

For most versions of UNIX, this should reset the terminal type to VT100, and all screen-oriented utilities should function as usual.

NOTE: If you are using a C shell or a derivative, change the set command above to setenv and eliminate step 5.


Because UNIX is a multitasking, multi-user operating system, it can be configured to use many different terminal types. The TERMCAP files define what terminal-specific information UNIX sends to a terminal for cursor control (similar to ANSI.SYS in MS-DOS). Screen display problems may occur if the TERMCAP is defined incorrectly. An example of a screen-oriented UNIX utility is the text editor program, vedit, which can be used to test the screen settings.

Additional query words: prodnt Ultrix crt VT-100

Keywords: kbnetwork KB105234