Use SSH and Telnet in Mobile Admin

This section provides information about how to connect to a server with SSH/Telnet from Mobile Admin.

About SSH/Telnet

Mobile Admin allows you to connect to servers with SSH and Telnet from your BlackBerry smartphone, Android Device or iPad/iPhone device. VT100, IBM 5250, and IBM 3270 terminal emulation are supported for wireless access to a wide range of network devices and applications.

Devices running iOS will automatically close SSH and Telnet connections when the Mobile Admin application is not active.

Supported network devices

You can use Mobile Admin to create SSH/Telnet terminal sessions to the following:

  • Unix servers
  • Linux servers
  • Cisco routers and switches
  • Novell Netware
  • AS/400 and iSeries servers, using TN5250
  • IBM mainframes and other 3270 devices, using TN3270
  • any other network device that supports Telnet or SSH

SSH/Telnet Security

Mobile Admin supports several SSH/Telnet encryption and authentication options.

Encryption for all SSH connections

When you create an SSH2 connection to a network device using Mobile Admin through a BES, all connection data between the wireless device and the network device is encrypted with Triple Data Encryption Standard (TDES) or Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). The US Government has security-certified TDES and AES as compliant with Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS).

Additionally, all private keys generated for SSH2 connections must be generated using the OpenSSH format.

Authentication

Mobile Admin supports standard authentication mechanisms for SSH, Telnet, IBM 5250 and IBM 3270 sessions (for example, user logins on devices where these have been configured).

For SSH2, Mobile Admin supports password authentication and public key authentication.

Getting started with SSH/Telnet

In most cases, in order to connect to a server using SSH/Telnet, the target server must be in your Mobile Admin Manage Hosts screen, or SSH/Telnet must be listed in the Mobile Admin Manage Services screen.

Access a server using SSH/Telnet

  1. Log in to Mobile Admin.

    The home screen appears.

  2. If required, select the server you want to access using SSH/Telnet through the Manage Hosts screen and select the SSH or Telnet icon. Also, you may select either icon through the Manage Services screen.

    The SSH/Telnet Settings screen appears populated with default connection settings.

    If a default username and password is displayed, the default credentials used are the credentials you used to log in to Mobile Admin, or the alternate credentials you specified for the server being managed.

  3. In the Username and Password fields, enter the login credentials for the SSH/Telnet server.
  4. Select Connect on the menu if the default connection settings are suitable.

    To modify default connection settings, see Managing connection settings.

Disconnect a SSH/Telnet session

  1. From the Terminal screen, select Disconnect on the menu.
  2. A dialog box appears asking you if you are sure you want to disconnect.
  3. Select Yes.

    Your SSH/Telnet session disconnects.

Managing connection settings

You can manage the default connection settings provided by Mobile Admin to better suit your needs. Default connection settings can either be managed from the SSH/Telnet login screen, or from within an active SSH/Telnet connection.

The following connection settings can be managed:

  • Proxy use
  • Term Type
  • Font Size
  • Rows
  • Columns
  • Scrollback Lines
  • Line Wrap
  • Local Input Buffer
  • Force Local Echo
  • Keep Alive
  • SSH2 Private key
  • Device Name (TN5250 Only)
  • SSH Version 2
  • Foreground Colour
  • Background Colour
  • Enter Sends
  • Store Password

Manage connection settings (BlackBerry, Android, iPad/iPhone)

  1. Perform one of the following:
    1. To manage connection settings from the SSH/Telnet login screen, follow the procedure To access a server using SSH/Telnet, up to and including step 3.
    2. To manage connection settings from within an SSH/Telnet session, select Settings on the menu.

      The SSH/Telnet Settings screen appears populated with default connection settings.

  2. Modify the following fields, as required:
    • Mobile Admin Proxy - select this check box to use the proxy provided by Mobile Admin. The proxy is provided in order to facilitate SSH/Telnet connections in network environments where direct paths between your device and the target server (such as networks with a BES) are not easily created. In order to use the proxy provided, a Mobile Admin administrator must configure the port. For more information, see Configuring Mobile Admin in the Mobile Admin Server Installation and Configuration Guide.
    • Term Type - Choose the terminal type string to use with this connection from the drop-down menu (vt100, TN5250, or TN3270). The default is vt100.
    • Font Size – Choose the size of text to be used on the terminal screen from the dropdown menu. Small (5) and Normal (7) will use the default font type.
    • Rows – Enter the number of rows for the terminal session in the text field. The default number of rows is the maximum number of rows that will fit on the screen without scrolling. Increasing the number of rows above the default will require scrolling to see parts of the screen.
    • Columns – Enter the number of columns for the terminal session in the text field.The default number of columns is the maximum number of columns that will fit on the screen without scrolling. Increasing the number of columns above the default will require scrolling to see parts of the screen.
    • Scrollback Lines – Enter the number of lines to save in the scrollback buffer in the text field.
    • Line Wrap – Select this check box to enable line wrapping, or clear it to disable line wrapping.
    • Local Input Buffer – Select this check box if you want the terminal screen to be in local input mode.
    • Force Local Echo Off – Select this check box to force Telnet local echo off, regardless of server or network device settings. Clear this check box to leave local echo on by default, unless it is turned off by the server or network device.
    • Keep Alive – Select this check box if you want Mobile Admin to send data during periods of inactivity to keep the connection open. Although we recommend selecting this check box for most connections, it may cause problems with some servers and network devices.
    • SSH2 Private Key – Enter the contents of your SSH2 private key file in OpenSSH format in the field, using one of the following methods:
      • Manually type the contents – This method can be time-consuming, but it is generally the most secure way to enter a private key.
      • E-mail the contents of the file to your wireless device – This method is secure if you are using a VPN or a BlackBerry Enterprise Server to connect; otherwise it is not secure. The contents of the email, once on your device, can be copied and pasted. We recommend that you delete the email after the private key data has been entered.
      • Paste the contents of the file into a memo on your computer, then synchronize your BlackBerry smartphone with the Desktop Manager – This method is very secure if you are using a BlackBerry Enterprise Server to connect. The contents of the memo, once on your device, can be copied and pasted. We recommend that you delete the memo after the private key data has been entered.

        We recommend that you protect your private key with a passphrase for maximum security. If you enter a password in the Password field on the Connection screen, it will be used as the passphrase. If you have not specified a password, and your private key is passphrase protected, you will be prompted to enter a passphrase when you connect to the SSH server.

    • Device Name (exclusive to TN5250 connections) – Enter the name of the device to be sent to the AS/400 or iSeries server.
    • Use SSH Version 2 – Select this check box if you want to use SSH Version 2 to connect with SSH2 if the server supports it.
    • Store Password (exclusive to SSH connections) - Select this check box to save the password locally.
    • Foreground – Modify the R, G, and B values for the foreground and cursor colour of the terminal screen from the menu.
    • Background – Modify the R, G, and B values for the background color of the terminal screen from the menu.
    • Enter Sends – Select the character to be sent when you press the Enter key on your wireless device. For SSH connections, choose CR (carriage return) or LF (linefeed). For Telnet connections, choose CRLF (carriage return + linefeed) or LF (linefeed).
  3. Perform one of the following:
    • If modifications were made from the SSH/Telnet Settings screen, select Connect and Save on the menu.
    • If modifications were made from within a SSH/Telnet session, select Save on the menu.
    • If the settings were modified from within a SSH/Telnet session, a dialog box will appear informing you that your changes will take effect once you exit the current session and restart the connection.

Manage server properties

You can manage the default server properties provided by Mobile Admin to better suit your needs. Default server properties are managed from the server page.

Manage SSH/Telnet port numbers

  1. Log in to Mobile Admin.

    The home screen appears.

  2. Select the SSH or Telnet server you want to access through the Manage Servers screen.
  3. Select Server Properties on the menu.

    The Server Properties for ‘servername’ page opens.

  4. Modify the port number fields as required.
  5. Select Save on the menu.

    The Saved server properties dialog box appears.

  6. Select OK.

    The updated Manage ‘servername’ page opens

The SSH and Telnet ports can also be set when initially adding a SSH or Telnet service to the Manage Services screen.

Using the Terminal Screen

The Terminal screen appears when you have made a successful SSH/Telnet connection.

Enable or disable scrolling (BlackBerry, Android)

From the Terminal screen, select Enable/Disable Scrolling on the menu.

  • Enable Scrolling – When scrolling is enabled, you can scroll up and down the text on the screen by rolling the trackwheel, clicking the D-pad, or tapping the screen, depending on your device. This is useful if you need to see text entered or received earlier in the session. To scroll left and right, hold the Alt key and roll the trackwheel/ click the D-pad, or drag left or right.
  • Disable Scrolling – If scrolling is disabled and local input mode is enabled, and there is text in the local input buffer, rolling the trackwheel/ clicking the D-pad moves the cursor through the local input text. In all other cases, rolling the trackwheel/ clicking the D-pad sends up and down cursor keypresses; or, if you hold the Alt key and roll the trackwheel, right and left keypresses.

Enable or disable local input mode

On BlackBerry or Android open a terminal session and select Enable/Disable Local Input on the menu. You can also select the option when you enter your user name and password.

On iOS open a terminal session, tap the Edit button and select Enable/Disable Local Input on the menu.

  • Enable Local Input – When local input mode is enabled, Mobile Admin will not send any typed characters until you press Enter on your wireless device, or select Send (or Send with Enter) on the menu. If you press Enter or select Send (or Send with Enter) on the menu, a carriage return (CR) will be sent at the end of the typed characters. Control characters (for example, CTRL+C) and Function keys are sent as soon as they are typed.

    Use Enable Local Input for high-latency connections; when you compose complex, single-line commands; or when you want to review commands before sending them to the server. With local input mode, usage can be slightly slower because it takes a small amount of time for each character to be sent over the wireless network.

  • Disable Local Input (wireless devices with full keypad only) – When local input mode is disabled, Mobile Admin sends each character when you type it. It can be useful to disable local input mode for highly interactive applications such as Pine or vi.

Change the font size on the fly

Select the Increase Font Size or Decrease Font Size menu item, or hold down the Shift key and scroll the trackball/wheel up or down to increase or decrease font size, respectively.

For iPad/iPhone devices, pinching and touch gestures can be used to zoom and pan the terminal display.

For Android touch devices, touch gestures can be used to pan the terminal display. For Android devices with Android 2.0 and up, pinching gestures can be used to zoom the terminal display.

Enter control (CTRL) characters

From the Terminal screen, select CTRL+ on the menu, then press the letter to send, or press SHIFT+Space on your wireless keypad. (This shortcut key combination is not available on BlackBerry 7100 series.) For example, to send CTRL +C, select CTRL+ on the menu, then press C on the keypad.

For iPad/iPhone devices, touch the “CTRL” button located at the top of the screen, then press the letter to send.

Enter alternate (ALT) characters

From the Terminal screen, select ALT+ on the menu, then press the letter to send, or press Alt+Space on your wireless keypad. (This shortcut key combination is not available on BlackBerry 7100 series.) For example, to send ALT +A, select ALT+ on the menu, then press A on the keypad.

For iPad/iPhone devices, touch the “ALT” button located at the top of the screen, then press the letter to send.

Enter special keys

From the Terminal screen, select Special Keys on the menu, or press Alt+Enter or Alt+Sym on your wireless device keypad to enter keys including ESC, TAB, and F1; or 5250 special keys such as Field Exit and Field Next.

For iPad/iPhone devices, touch the “Tab...”, “F” or arrow buttons to show a button overlay of available special keys. Press the button corresponding to the special key required.

For Android devices, touch the arrow button to show a button overlay of available special keys. Press the button corresponding to the special key required.

Copy and paste the screen contents (BlackBerry and Android devices only)

From the Terminal screen, select Copy To Clipboard on the menu. This will capture the current screen contents and copy them to the device's clipboard (Android devices will show a pop up message when the copying is complete). The clipboard contents can then be pasted into Email or other text editing applications.

About macros

For all Blackberry smartphones except the 7100, special keys (such as function keys, ESC, and TAB) can be mapped to keys on the keyboard so that they are easier for you to access. For example, you could map the TAB key to the letter “Q” on the keyboard, so that “Alt+Q” sends a TAB character.

Note: Macros are not currently supported on Windows Mobile and iPad/iPhone.

Configure macros

  1. From the Terminal screen, select Edit macros.

    The ‘connection type’ Macros page opens.

  2. Select Add Macro from the menu.

    A dialog box appears prompting you to press the key to associate with the macro.

  3. Follow the prompts to add a macro.

Delete macros

  1. From the Terminal screen, select Edit macros.

    The ‘connection type’ Macros page opens.

  2. Scroll to the macro you want to delete, then select Delete Macro on the menu.

    The updated ‘connection type’ Macro page is displayed.

Send characters without sending a carriage return (CR) or “enter” character (BlackBerry only)

  1. On BlackBerry, Windows Mobile devices, open the menu on the Terminal screen, and select Send.

    Mobile Admin sends the characters in the local input buffer.

  2. On Nokia devices, open the menu on the Terminal screen and select Send without carriage return.

    Mobile Admin sends the characters in the local input buffer.

Clear server key cache

From the Terminal screen, select Clear Server key Cache on the menu.