Close Window


A Monthly Newsletter – February 2011

This month we cover essential skills for automating logging on to sessions. Then we discuss customizing SecureCRT® session tabs, with several options to take the tab interface to a higher level of productivity. The rolling stone of VanDyke Software development gathers no moss, with new SecureCRT and VShell® features ready for pre-beta testing. Our featured forum post opens up a topic often considered highly complex: dynamic port forwarding.


1. Essential Skills: Logon Automation
2. Customize It: Session Tabs
3. Call for SecureCRT Testers: Connect Bar
4. Call for VShell Testers: Virtual Root Permissions
5. Heard on the Forums: Dynamic Forwarding
6. New and Current Releases

Online Resources

1. Essential Skills: Logon Automation

Last month we briefly mentioned some of SecureCRT's logon automation capabilities: logon scripts and expect-send sequences. This article continues the discussion of possibilities for
simplifying and automating session logon.

The traditional way to set up auto logon for Telnet is to use "expect-send" sequences: if the host sends a "login:" prompt, the client responds with the username and password data. There is however another way that is not much harder to do: use the Script Recorder to create a VBScript (Windows only, for now). You run it to capture your logon sequence, save the script, and then have a ready-to-use automated logon routine. Keep in mind that if the password is stored in a script, it will be in plain text.

A good introduction to the Script Recorder is found in the online Scripting Essentials guide.

If you use the same username and password to logon to many hosts, scripting the logon can make the logon process easier. And, if you change the password for these hosts, you only need to change the line in the script that sends the password to the new password.

The following tip shows how to do this with a logon script:

Logon Script to Log on to Multiple Sessions

Coming from a different angle, there is the question of how to open a group of sessions with the least effort and repetition. A 2010 forum thread lays out how to set up sessions in a startup folder and open them using the SecureCRT auto session capability.

If you need to open multiple sessions after SecureCRT starts up, another 2010 forum thread describes how to do this with the "Create Desktop Shortcut" command – this works with either
SecureCRT or SecureFX®.

2. Customize It: Session Tabs

If you're like many of our customers, your version of SecureCRT mostly uses the default settings. If that does all you need in the tabbed session interface, great – but you may be missing an opportunity to control some useful elements, such as:

    • Choosing your own colors for each of four tab states.
    • Changing status indicators (how the tab shows the session state, for example background color, icons, color block).
    • Setting an action to use on double-clicking a tab.
    • Moving the tab row to the bottom of the session window.

Tab color serves as an alert mechanism, letting you multi task in multiple session windows without missing important feedback – especially valuable for technical users like system administrators.

Customizing tabs is accomplished through the Global Options dialog, Terminal / Tabs category. The following is a summary of the options available:

    • Tab colors: connected, disconnected, new input, inactivity.
    • Status indicators: icons, background colors (Windows only), or color blocks.
    • Double-click action: close tab, clone tab, send to new window, reconnect.
    • Tab location: top / bottom of window.
    • Tab width: 20-300 pixels.

Other tab category options give you control over tab behavior as well as appearance:

    • Confirm when closing multiple tabs.
    • Only show tabs when there are more than one.
    • CTRL+TAB switches to most recently used tab.
    • Reuse disconnected tabs.

The Help topic "Session Tabs" in the "Using the Software" section has some suggestions to make using tabs faster and easier. Take a look at the Help file if any of these tips look useful:

    • Rename sessions from the session window by right-clicking on the session tab.
    • Move tab order by dragging and dropping.
    • Close tabs with the CTRL+F4 keyboard shortcut.

Call for SecureCRT Testers: Connect Bar

As development of SecureCRT continues, VanDyke Software Development is looking for users to test new capabilities in pre-beta releases. The Connect bar is an optional item on the toolbar that allows you to enter basic host access data directly in the main application window – no Quick Connect dialog needed.

Please contact SecureCRT Product Director Maureen Jett at if you are interested in participating in pre-beta testing.

Call for VShell Testers: Virtual Root Permissions

The VShell server also has new features in development, which are available for pre-beta testing. Further expanding VShell's fine-grained access control is the ability to set virtual root access permissions for individual users and groups. The VShell administrator may configure specific permissions allowed for each user for each root. The permissions available include file upload, download, and delete, as well as folder list, create, and delete.

If you would like to test and provide feedback on this new server functionality, please send e-mail to .

5. Heard on the Forums: Dynamic Forwarding

Follow the discussion as forum member "scottwatson" learns how to access a website that is two hosts removed from his Secure Shell client. Since SecureCRT can't launch an application if dynamic forwarding is enabled, Scott learned how to use a SOCKS proxy for the second SecureCRT session to allow tunneling HTTP traffic.

To read the complete thread on dynamic forwarding, visit the VanDyke Software online forums:

6. New and Current Releases

Maintenance releases of SecureCRT 6.6.2, SecureFX 6.6.2, and the ClientPack 6.6.2 utilities were made available February 1. For more information please consult the release history on the
VanDyke Software download website.

The SecureCRT 6.6 release offers cross-platform scripting with Python and a "Send Binary" file transfer option. The first version for Mac OS X systems delivers a full complement of advanced session management, security, terminal emulation, and automation capabilities.

SecureFX 6.6 adds the ability to limit bandwidth available to transfers and an option to set the number of parallel transfers allowed. ClientPack 6.6 improves the VRALib interface for COM and .NET applications.

Here is a list of the latest official product releases:

  SecureCRT 6.6.2
  SecureFX 6.6.2
  VanDyke ClientPack 6.6.2
  VShell 3.6.5 Server for Windows
  VShell 3.6.5 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.

Pass it along! If you find this monthly newsletter helpful and informative, forward it to co-workers or friends, or tell them where to sign up.


RSS Feeds Now Available

Links to VanDyke Software pages with RSS feeds:

What's New
Newsletter Archive
Download New Releases

Subscription Information

You received this e-mail because you subscribed to VanDyke Software News when you visited our website or downloaded a VanDyke Software product. Click here to unsubscribe or change your e-mail address.

Don't miss out on important product news. If your ISP or e-mail client filters incoming e-mail, please add the domain to your list of approved senders to make sure you receive the newsletters and product announcements to which you've subscribed.

IT professionals who are responsible for network administration and end user access where security is critical rely on VanDyke Software's rock solid and easy to configure software. VanDyke Software consistently delivers accurate, responsive support, and addresses our customers' evolving needs with timely product enhancements.

Mailing Address

  VanDyke Software, Inc.
  4848 Tramway Ridge Drive, NE
  Suite 101
  Albuquerque, NM 87111 USA
  tel: +505-332-5784

Do you have questions, comments, or ideas? E-mail us at or use one of our web forms.


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

All other products and services mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

Close Window