Mobile SSH is a program designed for IT administrators who carry around a BlackBerry, or are looking for an excuse to carry one around. Imagine being able to access your Linux or Unix box from wherever you have Blackberry coverage. Not to mention any other device that might have a telnet server running on it. It doesn’t take long to see that this is the kind of thing that a Unix or Linux admin could get used to having really quickly. Read the full review below …
Mobile SSH is a full SSH and telnet client for your Blackberry handheld. It runs right on your handheld, without the need for anything to be installed on a server. If you have a 6510, 7510, or 7520 – or a Blackberry with the 4.0 OS – you don’t even need a BES!
Installation is really easy. Idokorro offers OTA (over-the-air) downloads, so you just need to point your Blackberry browser at their website, and click the link to download the app to your device.
The program supports SSH-2 and telnet, and seems to work with every server we’ve tried to connect to. It’s got complete VT100 emulation built in, so you can even run programs like vi or pine. The beta version we tested supports IBM 5250 emulation as well, for anyone who
wants to administer IBM AS/400 or iSeries machines.
The UI is well thought out. Setting up new SSH or telnet connections is easy, and sessions can be saved so you don’t have to enter in your server hostname and other information every time you want to connect. Obviously the Blackberry’s keyboard has fewer keys than a standard computer’s, but Mobile SSH lets you access all the keys that aren’t there, like Function keys, TAB, CTRL, and ALT fairly easily. Also the Blackberry screen can’t fit as many characters across as the standard 80 in a telnet or SSH session. To address this, you can change the font size, sacrificing a little readability for more characters. And you have the option of either restricting your session to the number of characters that can fit on the Blackberry screen, or creating a virtual screen bigger than the Blackberry’s display that you can scroll around on.
Mobile SSH feels a little slower than a standard desktop terminal emulator, but that’s probably mostly due to wireless network latency. Idokorro gives you the option of sending one character at a time, as in traditional terminals, or buffering everything you type on the
Blackberry until you hit enter, which makes the latency problem a lot better. The initial connection for an SSH session takes about 20 seconds, but after that it responds as quickly as a telnet session does. As we said before, the program worked well with a lot of different SSH
and telnet servers. Also, it seems very robust, we couldn’t find anything that made it crash and I think we did a pretty good job of putting it through its paces.
SSH and telnet are indispensable tools for system administrators, and Idokorro’s Mobile SSH is a great way to bring those tools to the Blackberry. There are some issues with the small screen and keyboard of the device, and network latency can occasionally slow things down, but Idokorro has done a good job of getting around these limitations. There is a free trial available but with a newly lowered price of $95, and the new 5250 emulation feature, Mobile SSH is an easy purchase to justify for any real sysadmin.
AS400 Screen Shot
Idokorro Settings Screen Shot
VT100 Screen Shot
7100t Screen Shot of Settings Menu