IBM i Green Screen – Free AS400 iSeries Terminal Emulator TN5250

AS400

Aug 31

The IBM i System (aka i5 aka iSeries aka AS/400) uses something called 5250 to stream its data to a terminal, often called a green screen. You’ve seen this clunk old terminals in black and white scifi movies – well we still use them. Kind of. But we use a terminal emulators (software which emulates the functions of those old terminals) to type commands into a command line interface using windows/linux/mac whatever.

If you are trying to connect to an i5-iSeries-AS/400, you probably want a telnet client that handles 5250. This is called a TN5250 client.

My 5250 Emulator of choice is Mochasoft

This is a commerical product but looks nice and I’ve used it for years. It works with every version of windows and does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s lightweight and simple to use so checkout (https://www.mochasoft.dk) for there TN5250 client. At time of writing it is $25 per client.

Free 5250 Emulator

We all love free stuff right? Sourceforge has a true open-source, freeware TN5250. You can download it and learn more at tn5250.sourceforge.net It is small (less than 1 mb) and installs very quickly…. and it’s #free.

I suggest two configuration changes to make:

After installation, you should have a desktop icon named TN5250.

Right-click on that icon and then click on properties. Add the characters

+resize_fonts

 

Now we can create a config.file to store our most used connection info. Use the MS-DOS editor to create a new file called tn5250rc by typing:

edit tn5250rc

Set all of your TN5250 options in this file. For example, if you wanted to create a display called FRED1 which
connects to an as400 called iseries.sample.com, you’d type this:

profile1 {
host = iseries.sample.com
env.DEVNAME=FRED1
}

Now that you’ve created this, you can utilize those settings just by typing: tn5250 profile1
Be careful of capitalization. “profile1” is not the same as “Profile1” and that’s different from “PROFILE1”.

You can set any of tn5250’s settings in the tn5250rc file. Here’s a more sophisticated example:

profile1 {
host = ssl:iseries.sample.com
env.DEVNAME=FRED1
env.TERM=IBM-3477-FC
font_80=System
font_132=Terminal
+ssl_verify_server
ssl_ca_file=c:\certs\ca\as400_ca.pem
trace=c:\windows\temp\profile1-trace.txt
}
profile2 {
host = ssl:as400.example.com
env.DEVNAME=DSP51
+ruler
env.TERM=IBM-3179-2
map=285
ssl_cert_file=c:\certs\client\fredclient.pem
ssl_pem_pass=wilma
}
printer {
host = ssl:as400.example.com
env.DEVNAME=PRT01
env.IBMMFRTYPMDL = *HP4
6
}
env.IBMMSGQNAME = QSYSOPR
env.IBMMSGQLIB = *LIBL

(that is an underscore chracter between “+resize” and “fonts”) This will allow you to resize the window.

In the folder “Program Files” in the sub-folder “TN5250” is a file named “TN5250rc”. (C:\Program Files (x86)\TN5250)

Change it (one way is to right-click, selct open-with and select notepad or Wordpad)

map=37
font_80=Terminal

Terminal Emulator TN5250

Make it look something like this:

map=37

host=192.168.0.1

font_80=MS Gothic-12x24

 

(Instead of 192.168.0.1, enter your host ID or TCP/IP address)

The font_80 line changes the font to MS Gothic and the 12×24 defines the width and height of the window. Change those until the window is the size that you like.

That’s it. Double-click the TN5250 icon and you should see an i5-iSeries-AS/400 display terminal session.

This application is very full-featured. It also includes a Linux version.

Go to TN5250.sourceforge.net to learn more.

 

Some other TN5250 products you might like to look at:

XTN http://sourceforge.net/projects/xtn5250/

TN5250 http://sourceforge.net/projects/tn5250/

TN5250J http://sourceforge.net/projects/tn5250j/?source=typ_redirect

PUTTY http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/,sgtatham/putty/download.html