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A Monthly Newsletter – February 2010

The first maintenance releases of the SecureCRT®, SecureFX®, and ClientPack 6.5 clients and the VShell® 3.6 server were delivered in January.  But more exciting for some is the news that SecureCRT for OS X development has progressed to the early alpha testing stage.  This month's tip demonstrates how to use VShell subconfiguration to set up alternate authentication requirements. Pre-beta testing has begun for ongoing SecureCRT and SecureFX feature development. In the online forums, members discussed using the /T command-line option to open tabbed SecureCRT sessions, and a forum member posted comments on Unicode improvements added to SecureCRT 6.5.1.


1. Tip: VShell Subconfiguration Revised and Expanded
2. SecureCRT for OS X Enters Limited Alpha Release
3. Call for Testers: SecureCRT Scripting, SecureFX PASV
4. Using Keyword Highlighting in SecureCRT 6.5
5. Heard on the Forums: /T for Tabs, Improved Unicode/UTF-8
5. New and Current Releases

Online Resources

1. Tip: VShell Subconfiguration Revised and Expanded

For VShell administrators who have special groups that need different VShell server settings, subconfiguration offers a way to override global settings for particular users, groups, or locations.  For example, subconfiguration can be used to raise the level of authentication required for admin access or for users connecting from an external network.

The online tip for subconfiguration has recently been updated to focus on its application to authentication.  It explains, with examples and screenshots, how to subconfigure the Authentication Allowed and Authentication Required settings, as well as how to generate the XML subconfiguration file using the VShellConfig utility.

Read the updated subconfiguration tip, visit the VanDyke Software website support section.

2. SecureCRT for OS X Enters Limited Alpha Release

Development of SecureCRT for OS X (Apple Mac) continues to progress.  We have begun very limited alpha testing with a small group of users.  If that testing goes well, the alpha will be expanded to a wider group of users.  There will be an announcement in the newsletter when the OS X version is available for public beta testing, which will likely be later this year.

If you would like to be notified when SecureCRT for OS X is available for public beta testing, please e-mail Maureen Jett at

Call for Testers: SecureCRT Scripting, SecureFX PASV

VanDyke Software Development continues to seek users to test new capabilities in pre-beta releases.  The latest SecureCRT feature is a new way to pass arguments to scripts.  It allows arguments to be specified for scripts that are mapped to a key or a button on the button bar.

For SecureFX there is a new capability to try the external server address if a PASV data connection cannot be made using the internal server address.

If you would like to test and provide feedback on either new feature, please send e-mail to

4. Using Keyword Highlighting in SecureCRT 6.5

Last month we briefly mentioned keyword highlighting in SecureCRT 6.5.  This feature has some interesting applications for you to consider.  For instance, you could use it to:

    • Call attention to errors in output from a script or program.
    • Highlight keywords or specific IP addresses in a log file.

The following options are used to configure keyword highlighting:

  1. Options are located in the Terminal / Appearance category of the Session Options dialog, Highlight keywords group.
  2. The Name option allows you to select or create a list of keywords that you want to be highlighted.
  3. To create a new list of keywords, select the New... entry from the drop-down list and enter keywords in the text box.
  4. The Style option allows you to select the style in which keywords are highlighted.

Note that because keyword highlighting processes remote session output in real time, it can affect display performance.

To download SecureCRT 6.5 official and try keyword highlighting, go to the SecureCRT download page.

5. Heard on the Forums: /T for Tabs, Improved Unicode/UTF-8

Forum member Balto asked how to open a session from the command line in a tab rather than a new window.  Opening sessions in tabs requires an additional command-line option, /T, before the sessionname option, like this:

  SecureCRT /T /S "Cisco Routers/Router 1"

To read the complete thread, visit the forum site.

Forum member solarein recently posted in an ongoing thread on Unicode and UTF-8 character handling.  He reports, "I just upgraded to SecureCRT 6.5 and Unicode line drawing is now working
perfectly for me."

If you have had problems with Unicode line drawing characters in past versions of SecureCRT, try SecureCRT 6.5 and let us know your experience on the Unicode/UTF-8 thread.

6. New and Current Releases

Maintenance releases of SecureCRT 6.5.1, SecureFX 6.5.1, and VanDyke ClientPack 6.5.1, as well as VShell server 3.6.1, were made available January 21 to address issues in the 6.5 and 3.6 releases.  Please visit the web page below to view history files and download the latest software.

Official releases were made available December 15 for the SecureCRT 6.5 and SecureFX 6.5 applications, along with the VShell 3.6 server and VanDyke ClientPack 6.5 utilities.  Here are some highlights of these releases:

SecureCRT 6.5 –Tab status indicator options, real-time keyword highlighting, drag-and-drop transfers from Windows Explorer, Windows 7 taskbar integration, revised button bar.

SecureFX 6.5 – New tabbed main window, SCP transfer protocol support, parent folder ".." navigation.

ClientPack 6.5 –VRALib, a new .NET and COM-compliant component scripting SSH2 connections in Windows.

VShell 3.6 server – Limit access to SSH2 commands and services by public key, set environment variables via SSH2, audit vshelld events with Solaris BSM.

Here is a list of the latest official product releases:

  SecureCRT 6.5.1
  SecureFX 6.5.1
  CRT™ 6.1.4
  VanDyke ClientPack 6.5.1
  VShell 3.6.1 Server for Windows
  VShell 3.6.1 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

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