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TN5250(1) General Commands Manual TN5250(1)


tn5250 - an implementation of the 5250 telnet protocol


tn5250 [OPTIONS] host[:port]
xt5250 [OPTIONS] [host[:port]]
tn5250 -version


tn5250 emulates IBM's 5250 compatible terminals to connect over TCP/IP to an IBM AS/400. The terminal emulation works on any local terminal supported by curses, and provides 132x27 and full colour support where possible.

tn5250 will connect to the given host's telnet port, or a different port if specified. The host name may be preceded by a protocol: which specifies either to use telnet to the host, if omitted or set to telnet or tn5250, or to replay a session dumped using the trace option if set to debug.

An IBM 5250 terminal supports a number of special keys, and does a lot of processing itself before sending data to the host system. Because a standard ASCII terminal does not support all these keys, tn5250 uses control sequences to perform the operations.

Named session support (with the env.DEVNAME option) is available for most versions of OS/400, but is only supplied with V4R3 and later versions. For V3R2, V3R7, V4R1 and V4R2, please see informational APAR II10918.


Log all tn5250 actions to tracefile. This file will get very large, and may contain sensitive information such as the password used to log in.
Set the translation table between ASCII and EBCDIC. This should match the CCSID of the interactive job. The default for tn5250 is 37. See Translation Maps below for more information.
Set the device name for the AS/400 to assign to the 5250 session. This should be up to ten characters long and consist of only letters and numbers. It will be converted to uppercase and used as the name of the 5250-compatible device on the AS/400. There may only be one session active with any given name at one time.
Set the terminal model name for the emulation session to use. The default depends on whether the terminal supports colour, and whether it is large enough to support the large terminal size. See Display Types below for valid model names.
Set any other environment variables controlling the terminal session. A list of relevant variables is given in section 5 of RFC2877.
Force or disable the use of underscore characters instead of the underline attribute, for terminals that do not support underlining but where tn5250 does not work this out itself.
Turn the ruler feature on or off. When enabled, the row and column of the cursor will be highlighted.
Display the version of tn5250 and exit.


These are some examples of the use of tn5250:

Connect to the system as400sys, using the default translation map (37) and a generated session name (QPADEV####).
Connect to as400sys using the translation map for CCSID 870 (Eastern Europe), the session name SESSION1 and with a terminal supporting colour and a 132x27 display.


This manual assumes that the user is familiar with a real 5250 terminal, or another 5250 emulator, and only describes features relevant to tn5250 itself.

Keyboard Mapping

The following table lists the 5250 functions implemented by tn5250, and the corresponding keypresses. Keys are represented as Emacs does: C-a means hold Ctrl and press A, M-a means press Esc or C-g followed by A, and C-M-a means press Esc or C-g followed by C-a. Most setups also let you use the Alt or Meta key for M- keypresses.

Function Keypress
F1 - F10 f1 to f10, M-1 to M-
F11 f11 [1], M--
F12 f12 [1], M-=
F13 - F24 f13 to f24 [1], M-! to M-+
Enter return, enter, C-j, C-m
Left left
Right right
Up up
Down down
Roll Up next, pagedown, C-d, C-f
Roll Down prev, pageup, C-b, C-u
Backspace backspace [1]
Home home, C-o
End end
Insert insert, M-i, M-delete
Delete delete [1]
Reset C-r, M-r
Print C-p, M-p
Help M-h
SysReq C-c, M-s
Clear M-c
FieldExit C-k, M-x
TestReq C-t
Toggle M-t
Erase C-e
Attn C-a, M-a
Dup M-d
Field+ C-x, + [2]
Field- M-m, - [2]
NewLine C-M-j
Next Field tab, C-i
Prev Field backtab [1]
Refresh C-l, M-l
Quit C-q
Which keys generate f11-f24, backtab, backspace and delete is very dependent on the configuration of the terminal.
+ and - only work as Field+ and Field- in signed numeric fields.


The screen display tries to be the same as a colour 5250 terminal. There are some unavoidable differences though:

ASCII terminals (and curses) do not support the 5250 column separators.

Some terminals (mostly ones based on the VGA text mode) do not support underlining. If this is the case and tn5250 does not detect it automatically, you should pass the -u option.

Some terminals (such as xterm) do not support blinking text.

Display Types

The following values are valid for the terminal name option. The default terminal, if none is specified, is selected from the first listed below that supports both terminal size and colour support.

Name Description Default
IBM-5555-C01 DBCS color (not supported)
IBM-5555-B01 DBCS monochrome (not supported)
IBM-3477-FC 27x132 color Yes
IBM-3477-FG 27x132 monochrome Yes
IBM-3180-2 27x132 monochrome
IBM-3179-2 24x80 color Yes
IBM-3196-A1 24x80 monochrome
IBM-5292-2 24x80 color
IBM-5291-1 24x80 monochrome
IBM-5251-11 24x80 monochrome Yes

Translation Maps

CCSIDs on the AS/400 are listed in Appendix G of IBM manual SC41-5101-01, AS/400 National Language Support. This manual is available on the web at <>.

Currently recognised values for the translation map are: 37, 256, 273, 277, 278, 280, 284, 285, 290, 297, 420, 424, 500, 870, 871, 875, 880, 905, and 1026. Most of these are translated to ISO-8859-1, also known as Latin 1. Some of them contain characters only present in another encoding, which is used instead. The valid CCSID values, and the Unix encoding used, are listed below.

CCSID Unix encoding Description
37 ISO-8859-1 US, Canada, Netherlands,
Portugal, Brazil, Australia,
New Zealand
256 ISO-8859-1 Netherlands
273 ISO-8859-1 Austria, Germany
277 ISO-8859-1 Denmark, Norway
278 ISO-8859-1 Finland, Sweden
280 ISO-8859-1 Italy
284 ISO-8859-1 Spanish, Latin America
285 ISO-8859-1 United Kingdom
290 JIS_X0201 Katakana Extended
297 ISO-8859-1 France
420 ISO-8859-6 Arabic
424 ISO-8859-8 Hebrew
500 ISO-8859-1 Belgium, Canada, Switzerland
870 ISO-8859-2 Eastern Europe
871 ISO-8859-1 Iceland
875 ISO-8859-7 Greek
880 ISO-8859-5 Cyrillic
905 ISO-8859-3 Turkey - Latin3
1026 ISO-8859-9 Turkey - Latin5

If possible, configure your terminal to use the appropriate encoding if your AS/400 uses any of these CCSIDs.


Please report any bugs you find to the bug tracker or to the linux5250 mailing list. See the tn5250 web site for more details.


lp5250d(1),, RFC1205, RFC2877, II10918.


tn5250 is copyright 1997 - 2001 Michael Madore. This manpage is copyright 1999 - 2001 Carey Evans.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2.1 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Lesser General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA


tn5250 was written by Michael Madore, Jay Felice, Scott Klement and others; see the AUTHORS file for details. This manual page was written by Carey Evans.

30 Jul 2001