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A Monthly Newsletter – March 2005

The big news this month is that the SecureCRT® 5.0, SecureFX® 3.0, and CRT™ 5.0 upgrades are in their second beta release! Since we have covered major new capabilities of the software in previous issues, this month we can color outside the lines with a piece on upgrade migration, a tip on the making configuration changes to multiple sessions using the default session, a report on the beta forums, and links to new information on the web site. And we pass along an idea about
improving security in Windows XP.


1. Feature: Migration to SecureCRT 5.0 & SecureFX 3.0
2. Tip: Making Configuration Changes to Multiple Sessions
3. Heard On The Forum: Beta Software Discussion
4. News: Better XP Security With Limited User Accounts?
5. VanDyke Software Web Site Adds New Material
6. New Releases
7. Current Releases

1. Feature: Migration to SecureCRT 5.0 & SecureFX 3.0

Migration is high on the list of questions from users and admins with any release, so let's address this part of upgrading to SecureCRT 5.0 and SecureFX 3.0.

There are two aspects to upgrading to the new releases. Because the configuration file formats have changed, you will need to migrate your session settings to the new format. You will also need to decide if you want the two applications to share session settings or if you prefer to manage them separately.

When you upgrade from a previous version of SecureCRT or SecureFX, we recommend installing the new versions to a different folder. This makes it easier to revert to a previous version at any time, or to use two versions of an application at the same time (more on that below).

The first time you run either application, a migration wizard will walk you through the process of importing your previous session settings to the new versions. The wizard also handles setting up the new named firewall capability.

If you use both SecureCRT and SecureFX, you'll also need to decide whether you want to integrate the applications so that they can share session settings. Shared session settings offer simpler setup and maintenance such as the ability to change a hostname or IP address in just one location. You'll also see enhanced capabilities -- If you're connected to a terminal session, you can launch SecureFX from within SecureCRT and automatically open a transfer session to that same host.

The integrated Global Options and Session Options dialogs are more complex if you share sessions. And when you launch the Connect dialog, you'll see both your terminal and transfer sessions. So, if you're used to running terminal and file transfer software as independent applications and don't need to utilize the features offered by integration, you may prefer to keep SecureCRT and SecureFX session settings separate.

If you integrate, the migration wizard handles the merging of SecureCRT and SecureFX session settings and saves the new, merged session information in a different location from the previous version. You should be aware that once you merge sessions, the only way to undo this process is to revert to your previous version, and then reinstall the new versions and re-migrate. And since the session settings use a new format, any new sessions you set up in SecureCRT 5.0 or SecureFX 3.0 will need to be recreated manually after you reinstall.

The best time to integrate session settings is during the initial upgrade process using the migration wizard. However, it is possible to do it later manually. You can drop back to the previous version, reinstall SecureCRT 5.0 and SecureFX 3.0, and run the migration wizard (remember, you will not be able to retrieve any new session settings created in SecureCRT 5.0 or SecureFX 3.0). Or you can manually copy session information from the SecureFX 3.0 session configuration file to the SecureCRT 5.0 session configuration file and then make any needed changes. If you manually integrate, you lose the benefits of the wizard, which catches and resolves any conflicts and duplications.

Since the installer and migration wizard preserve your previous software versions, you can easily experiment with integration or other new features before committing to an upgrade. Simply access the new release and your older software by using the desktop shortcuts created by the installers. SecureFX uses the same name for the shortcut for both the older and new versions, so you will need to rename the previous version shortcut before installing the upgrade.

We hope you now understand the migration process, so that upgrading brings no surprises. If you have questions about creating shortcuts or any other migration issues, please refer to the documentation in the Help files or contact VanDyke Software Support.

Read more about SecureCRT 5.0 and SecureFX 3.0 beta releases on our product pages.

  SecureCRT 5.0:

  SecureFX 3.0:

2. Tip: Making Configuration Changes to Multiple Sessions

There are many times when it's useful to apply session setting changes to all of your sessions. You may need to change a commonly applied setting like a firewall configuration, or you may want to make a single adjustment when your organization's servers are upgraded from SSH1 to SSH2.

When you edit the default session in SecureCRT 5.0, CRT 5.0, and SecureFX 3.0, the application asks if you want to apply the changes made to all sessions, or just to the current default. This allows you to use the default session to apply session options to multiple sessions.

A forum member recently described how to use this technique to quickly apply keymaps for "MENU_TAB_PREV" and "MENU_TAB_NEXT" to a large number of existing sessions:

Keep in mind that any changes to the default session setting will apply to all new sessions created after the change. If you don't want the new setting to remain the default, simply change it back after you apply your change.

To view the complete tip with a more detailed description of what the new default session offers, visit this web page:

3. Heard on the Forum: Beta Software Discussion

The new beta forums have been very active in the short time since SecureCRT 5.0 and SecureFX 3.0 were released. With VanDyke Software staff tracking the forums closely, they are the quickest way to keep up to date on the beta cycle. Here are some of the recent discussions taking place in the forums:

Become a beta forum member today! Registration is not required to read messages, but you will need to register in order to post in the forums or vote in polls.

4. News: Better XP Security With Limited User Accounts?

Are you at your wit's end, wondering what else you can do to ensure system stability in the harsh world of viruses, trojans, adware, and other nasties? A PC Magazine article from November 2004, discusses the option of using Windows XP limited user accounts to reduce your exposure to external attacks. Limited accounts are fine for some activities, for example, casual internet browsing, but not for others. To install software, perform system maintenance, and even to use some common applications that won't run under limited accounts, you have to log on using a separate account with administrator-level privileges.

For the complete article visit the PC Magazine web site:

5. VanDyke Software Web Site Adds New Material

Most areas of our web site should look familiar, but you might take a quick look at a few key pages that have had extensive work in preparation for the new releases.

    • What's New: A redesign streamlines our classic information-heavy page with some better graphics to help quickly locate new product info and downloads. What's New now shows the latest activity in the discussion forums.

    • Product Pages: You'll still find the quick beta overview you expect, but now we also offer extensive information on the new products, with an open format and tabbed organization to access benefits, features, technical resources, FAQs, and more.

      SecureCRT 5.0 (beta) product page:

      SecureFX 3.0 (beta) product page:

      CRT 5.0 (beta) product page:

6. New Releases

A maintenance release of VShell(TM) 2.3.4 official was made in March. Beta 2 releases of SecureCRT 5.0, SecureFX 3.0, and CRT 5.0 are now available.

You can download new and previous releases at:

7. Current Releases

The following lists the latest official product releases:

  SecureCRT 4.1.10
  SecureFX 2.2.9
  CRT 4.1.10
  AbsoluteFTP® 2.2.9
  VShell™ 2.3.4 Server for Windows
  VShell 2.3.4 Server for UNIX
  Red Hat Linux 7.x
  Red Hat Linux 8.x
  Red Hat Linux 9.x
  Red Hat Enterprise v2.1/v3
  Solaris 8
  FreeBSD 4.8
  HP-UX 11
  Mac OS X 10.2
  AIX 4.3/5.2

To download any of the current releases, go to:

All VanDyke Software products may be downloaded and evaluated free for 30 days. Licenses include one year of free upgrades and unlimited access to our expert technical support.

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