Any faithful VT100 Emulators?

John Wilson wilson at
Tue Mar 21 20:20:10 CDT 2017

On Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 11:02:58AM +1000, Warren Toomey via cctalk wrote:
>OK, so I don't have a real VT100, so I'm accessing an old 4.3BSD system
>with xterm and LXTerminal terminal emulators on Linux. Last night, for a
>laugh, I ran vttest from the 1980s and the terminal emulators performed
>Which raises the question, are there any _good_ VT100 terminal
>emulators, especially for Linux? For any other platforms?

If I do say so myself, the one in E11 is very true.  Its VT100, VT101,
and VT102 emulations "fail" VTTEST in exactly the same ways that the real
VT100, VT101, and VT102 do (point is:  VTTEST is a fool's paradise, and
anything which 100% passes it is *definitely* not 100% VT100-compatible).

The best E11 flavors for the VT100 emulation are for Windows and OS/2
(those give you pretty much *everything*, including smooth-scroll and blink
and true double-size characters and the correct VT100 font and the SET-UP 0
screen scramble).  DOS and stand-alone give you a good text-mode approximation
(minus smooth scroll, and blink isn't quite accurate, and the double-size
characters reassign unused char-gen cells until they run out and then it
starts to look like a ransom note), but the Linux version works only on
text consoles (mainly because I haven't found a linker that builds from
OMF386 .OBJ files yet also handles ELF imports correctly, so I can't build
it against X).

Currently there's no free-standing version (it exists only built into E11),
which I've been meaning to deal with for centuries (and I'm currently --
as in for the past week -- working on a version for XMOS microcontrollers
as part of my "SchmELF" CDP1802 project), but meanwhile if you go here:

... and grab the "vt100.ini" and "vt100.pdp" files, that gives you a simple
loopback program which makes the E11 VT100 console act as a terminal
connected to whatever's assigned to TT1: (a serial port or "TELCLIENT:"
Telnet client are the most useful -- which currently rules out OS/2 I

John Wilson
D Bit

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