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Q: Kermit Protocol ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Kermit Protocol
Category: Computers
Asked by: perfect_answer-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 26 Aug 2002 20:12 PDT
Expires: 25 Sep 2002 20:12 PDT
Question ID: 58890
I need the specifications of the Kermit protocol that will enable me
to implement the protcol in a Visual Basic Program I'm designing.
"Specifications" means how the protocol works, what are the headers of
the packets, what are the supported sizes of the packets, what CRC
method is
used, in other words, all the technical details of the protocol.

Subject: Re: Kermit Protocol
Answered By: kyrie26-ga on 26 Aug 2002 21:46 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear perfect_answer-ga,

It would seem that the most authoritative source for the Kermit
Protocol Specification can be found at the official Kermit Project
home page at Columbia University (
You can download the PostScript document from the following link :

If you are having trouble with PostScript files, an online PostScript
to PDF converter can be found here (this has been tested and works
fine) :

OR you may download the PDF version from a University of Michigan link

Here is another document, in the Technical Papers & Contributions
section of the official site :
The Kermit File Transfer Protocol, by Frank da Cruz and Bill
Catchings, BYTE Magazine (1983):

For technical support, please visit this newsgroup :
comp.protocols.kermit.misc . You can also send email to Members of the Kermit team will respond
within several days, usually faster.

There is an application called MS-DOS Kermit, for which source code is
available at .
You might like to view it to get some ideas (it is written in Basic)
for your own code.

Google Search Terms :

kermit protocol

Hope that satisfies what you are looking for. Please request
clarification if needed. All the best in your undertakings on your



Request for Answer Clarification by perfect_answer-ga on 26 Aug 2002 22:36 PDT
Dear kyrie26-ga

Thank you for the fast answer and your efforts, but unfortunately your
answer is not accepted because it didn't provide us with the required

1- The "Kermit: Specification and Verification" paper by James K.
Huggins discusses the Kermit protocol using "evolving algebra"
concepts to prove the integrity of the protocol. It does NOT provide
TECHNICAL information about the protocol itself like limitations,
duplexing modes, Data type mode (ASCII, BINARY, or AUTO-DETECT) and
how to implement them. It doesn't provide information about connection
establishing and if the CRC16 or the CRC32 or other algorithm is used
for data verification and correction. (By the way, this paper was the
first one we found when we start searching about this issue.)

2- The MS-DOS Kermit Source files, which we already checked, are NOT
programmed in Basic, it's programmed in X86 Assembly language and C.
Thus it will not help us at all.( You can download the zip file you
gave us and check the files by yourself!)

3- The "The Kermit File Transfer Protocol, by Frank da Cruz and Bill"
paper is an old paper that does NOT include all the details of the
protocol. We already built an application using the information in
that paper and the protocol didn't work with the VAX servers. Simply
it's outdated.

As you can see you answer didn't fulfill any of our requirements. If
you were able to find a Visual Basic source code or even a BASIC code
for a Kermit application that can send and receive files in ASCII and
BINARY then your answer will fulfill the requirements of the question.
A free OCX control will work.

Thank you for you time and efforts.

Clarification of Answer by kyrie26-ga on 27 Aug 2002 00:27 PDT
Hi perfect_answer-ga,

Is this what you are looking for? 

Kermit, A File Transfer Protocol, by Frank da Cruz (Digital Press

Part I : 
- history
- how to obtain software
- definition of a protocol, how to connect to other computers, how to
transfer files
- history & trivia

Part II :
- primer on files & data communications
- handshaking, flow control, parity and the like
- hardware, file structure and management, data representation and
transmission, and networks.
- pin connections to 3705 controllers. 

Part III 
- user guide
- Kermit commands, problems, solutions, limitations
- bootstrapping

Part IV :
- how to write a Kermit program
- basic file transfer, Kermit packets, layered protocol, send
initiation, data transfer, end of file notification, receipt
acknowledgement, and error notification
- character translation, data integrity, and hardware-specific
- 8-bit data transfer through 7-bit communications media; data
encoding and compression, gracefully interrupting a file transfer
- client/server relationship and advanced options
- discussion and analysis of the Kermit protocol, implementation
tricks, and a comparison of Kermit to other file transfer protocols
- programming examples, a Kermit command summary, a Kermit packet

"In summary, the book provides a complete reference guide to Kermit
and its current implementation."

If so, then you can find it "In computer and book stores, or order
direct from Columbia University, from Digital Press, from Barnes and
Noble, from Amazon.Com, from Book Stacks Unlimited, or from The
Internet Bookshop (UK). This book recently went out of print (after 15
years), but a few copies are still available from the Kermit Project
and possibly from Amazon and the other sources." ( )

Here is a Barnes and Noble link to this book :

Hope this answers your question. Do let me know otherwise.



Request for Answer Clarification by perfect_answer-ga on 27 Aug 2002 07:53 PDT
Dear Kyrie26-ga,

We didn't post this question to get a name of book in return. YOU are
required to provide the answer to the question which I beleive is
section IV from the book you found. We knew about the book, but were
not able to order it for some reasons. However, this question was
posted to get in return the TECHNICAL DETAILS OF THE PROTOCOL , not a
name of book that contains them. I'ld like to thank you for your
efforts, but if you were not able to provide materials similar to
section IV as an ANSWER to this question, I'm afraid we will not
accept this answer.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Clarification of Answer by kyrie26-ga on 27 Aug 2002 08:43 PDT
Hi perfect_answer-ga,

I'm sorry I wasn't able to provide the perfect answer you were looking
for. I wasn't aware that you had already considered the book I
suggested. So far, I have already done an exhaustive search on the Web
using the following Google search terms :

kermit protocol
kermit "visual basic"
kermit specifications
kermit technical specifications
kermit source code
kermit "visual basic" source
kermit implementation

... and I have not found anything else other than the book "Kermit, A
File Transfer Protocol", to be the only resource that matches your
needs since, as you mentioned, Part IV contains the answer to your

Perhaps another researcher might like to take over, since I am at my
wit's end on this one. If I can help you to determine your best option
in acquiring the book (different book sellers and their prices), then
please do let me know. Otherwise, you are more than welcome to request
a refund since you are unsatisfied with this answer. Good luck in
hunting down what you're looking for!

Warmest regards,

perfect_answer-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Kyrie26-ga tried all what is possible to find me the best answer,
although I didn't get what I was looking for, but Kyrie26-ga  did a
exhaustive search and tried to find as much as possible. Good
research! Thank you, you deserved the money!

Subject: Re: Kermit Protocol
From: jlacour-ga on 27 Aug 2002 22:53 PDT
Here's BASIC, but not Visual Basic source code to a download only
implementation of Kermit:

.DLLs or source can be purchased from these folks:

Here's a source for 5 different sets of communications libraries for
purchase including the one mentioned above:

These people would seem to sell what you're looking for as well:

Here's a Google Groups thread which seems to indicate the public VB
source were never made available:

There does not appear to be any free VB source code for Kermit.
Subject: Re: Kermit Protocol
From: kyrie26-ga on 29 Aug 2002 01:32 PDT

Thank you for the 5 stars! It is much appreciated. I'm glad to have
served you on Google Answers.



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