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A Monthly Newsletter – August 2009

One of the more powerful yet underutilized parts of the SecureCRT® and SecureFX® applications is the Connect dialog.  In this issue, we show you how to use the many options for organizing and launching sessions.  Then, in case you have ever struggled with copy and paste behaving differently in your terminal window than in Windows apps, we have two tips on that subject.  You can try out several new pre-beta capabilities in the Calls for Testers.  If user interface is your favorite part of programming, you'll appreciate the Scripting Essentials chapter on creating dialogs and gathering user input. On the subject of scripting, the online forums are a great source for more information on how to handle changing multiple account passwords, with or without scripts.


1. Tip: Maximizing the Value of the Connect Dialog
2. Tip: Easier Copy and Paste in SecureCRT
3. Scripting Essentials Chapter 6: Getting Information
4. Call for Testers: Highlighting Keywords
5. Call for Testers: Using Encrypted Passwords in Scripts
6. Call for Testers: ClientPack API for Scripting SSH2 Connections
7. Heard on the Forums: Managing Passwords
8. New and Current Releases

Online Resources

1. Tip: Maximizing the Value of the Connect Dialog

The Connect dialog for SecureCRT and SecureFX is built around named sessions allowing you to configure, save, and recall a number of session options.  With the Connect dialog, you have several straightforward ways to organize and manage sessions that can save you time and effort, especially if you connect to many hosts, or run shell and file transfer connections to the same server.

To read more about how to maximize the potential of the Connect dialog, read the full tip online.

2. Tip: Easier Copy and Paste in SecureCRT

Two classic productivity tips for SecureCRT have been revised, giving you a perfect opportunity to make sure you know all you need to about copying and pasting in the SecureCRT terminal emulator.

SecureCRT has a number of ways to copy and paste to and from the terminal screen.  One option allows you to use familiar Windows copy and paste keystrokes in the terminal window.  "Use Windows copy and paste hotkeys" is turned off by default because some users need to send control sequences like CTRL+A, CTRL+C, CTRL+F, and CTRL+V to the remote.

Terminal or Linux console users have probably developed some timesaving X-Windows habits as well.  With SecureCRT, you can keep the X-Windows behavior.  The "Copy on select" option automatically copies emulation window text selected with the mouse to the Windows Clipboard.

To read the complete copy and paste tips, please visit the Support section of the VanDyke Software website:

Using Windows Copy and Paste Hotkeys in SecureCRT

Copy on Select for X-Windows Mouse Behavior in SecureCRT

Scripting Essentials Chapter 6: Getting Information

This month's scripting installment from VanDyke Software Support is entitled "Getting Information from the End User".  Chapter 6 of the Scripting Essentials guide expands on the InputBox ("fill in the blank" type) and MsgBox ("Yes/No/Cancel" type) functions. Also covered is the InternetExplorer.Application" ActiveX object, a more powerful method, which uses HTML code displayed through Internet Explorer.

The "Getting Information" chapter also shows how to use regular expressions, which are a means of identifying patterns in a string of alpha-numeric text.  Regular expressions are useful for tasks such as validating a user-supplied IP address.

The practical example for Chapter 6 provides instructions and full source code to create a custom input dialog to enter the username and password.

To download a PDF copy of the latest Scripting Essentials guide, please visit the VanDyke Software website.

4. Call for Testers: Highlighting Keywords

VanDyke Software development continues to seek users to test new capabilities in pre-beta releases.  This month we are looking for users to preview and give us feedback on keyword

Keyword highlighting makes available a user-specified list of keywords for real-time highlighting in a session. The capability can be used to highlight session elements like a user prompt, errors, and IP addresses.

If you would like to test and provide feedback on the new keyword highlighting features, please send e-mail

5. Call for Testers: Using Encrypted Passwords in Scripts

Also available this month for preview and feedback is a pre-beta version of SecureCRT with the ability to use an encrypted password from within a script.  Encrypted passwords can also be saved to session .ini files from within a script.

To test and provide feedback on this new feature, send e-mail to

6. Call for Testers: ClientPack API for Scripting SSH2 Connections

Ready for pre-beta testing in the VanDyke ClientPack is VRALib, an API that allows you to script SSH2 connections from Windows.  The API functions can be called from VBScript, C++, or any scripting platform that supports COM. Operations supported include:

  • Perform file transfers (upload/download) using SFTP.
  • Remote file management, such as controlling file access or retrieving file attributes.
  • Send a command to an SSH2 server and get the output produced by the command.
  • Add host keys to a host-key database.
  • Add keys to the SSH2 authentication agent shared by compatible VanDyke Software client applications.
  • Full control over SSH2 connections, including getting the ident string, specifying authentication methods, and proxy/firewall settings.
  • Control tunneling/port forwarding.
To test the new scripting API, send e-mail to

7. Heard on the Forums: Managing Passwords

With rigorous password policies now a fact of life, we all have plenty of reasons to make those regular password changes as easy and seamless as possible.  Two recent forum threads address passwords.

First is a post from a SecureCRT user on updating multiple passwords quickly from the Connect dialog and Session Options.

Next is the post from forum user rleon, who wants to use SecureCRT to change passwords on a large number of servers. Several possible solutions are discussed, including setting encrypted passwords from a script using a pre-beta version of SecureCRT (see the call for testers above, "Using Encrypted Passwords in Scripts").

8. New and Current Releases

The official releases of SecureCRT 6.2.2, SecureFX 6.2.2 and ClientPack 6.2.2 were made July 2, 2009.

The SecureCRT 6.2 official release makes it fast and easy to change multiple session settings. Changes include:

  • Edit multiple session settings like passwords at the same time
  • Option to remember, connect to sessions from your last use
  • Rotate log files nightly option
  • Manage keys in Activator with Agent support (also SecureFX)
  • PKCS #11 support simplifies smart-card authentication (also in SecureFX)
SecureFX 6.2 official adds site synchronization filters to fine-tune transfer results. This list of new capabilities includes:
  • Site synchronization filters to include or exclude files like .svn or JPEG, with wildcards
  • As in SecureCRT, edit multiple session settings like passwords at the same time
  • Option to remember, connect to sessions from your last use
  • Mutual FTP authentication allows self-signed certificates
  • Limit local FTP port range for restrictive firewalls
VShell 3.5 offers a module for FTP over SSL (FTPS) support. The latest server version also has:
  • FTP file transfer with all data protected by SSL/TLS-based encryption
  • W3C extended log file format, other logging enhancements
  • Control panel makeover
  • Internal user database to configure VShell-specific users
  • Disconnect active sessions using "who" utility
  • RunAs commands for admin-controlled remote command execution as a different user
Here is a list of the latest official product releases:

  SecureCRT 6.2.2
  SecureFX 6.2.2
  CRT™ 6.1.4
  VanDyke ClientPack 6.2
  VShell 3.5.3 Server for Windows
  VShell 3.5.3 Server for UNIX
     Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0
     Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0
     Solaris 10 (SPARC)
     Solaris 8 (SPARC)
     FreeBSD 7.0 (Intel x86)
     FreeBSD 6.1 (Intel x86)
     HP-UX 11
     Mac OS X 10.5 (Intel x86)
     Mac OS X 10.2
     AIX 5.3

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

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VanDyke Software, CRT, SecureCRT, SecureFX, and VShell are trademarks or registered trademarks of VanDyke Software, Inc.

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