The htsh / wapsh Home Page

Last updated: 24 November 2000

htsh is a system implemented by exolution GmbH which allows users to login to a Unix shell on a remote host using a web browser or WAP phone (in the latter incarnation, htsh is also called wapsh). The following screen shots show an example of the operation of wapsh:

Enter the command "pwd" terminated by a newline

Send input to shell

Browser displays output produced by shell


Feature Overview

Online documentation

Test accounts

Licensing and Downloading

Supported Platforms

Feature Overview

htsh offers the following features:

  • WML (WAP phone) and HTML (Web browser) interfaces.
  • Line-oriented interface. Lines and individual characters can be transmitted to the shell, but no screen mode emulation is provided.
  • Multiple simultaneous login support. Any number of users can simultaneously login and operate separate shells using htsh.
  • Integration with standard login authentication. The user logs in by supplying their usual username and password. After authentication and initialisation, htsh will launch the userís standard shell.
  • User-specific initialisation file. Each user can have an initialisation file (residing in their login directory) which tailors the appearance and operation of their browser or phone display. Control statements are provided allowing sections of the initialisation file to be processed dependent on the protocol ("wap" or "http") or user agent (browser/phone type) being employed for the remote login.
  • Shortcuts. In order to save typing on a WAP phone (or in a web-browser), it is possible to create shortcuts for commonly used shell commands.
  • Command history. Shell inputs are saved in a history list, which can be edited and re-executed
  • Control character input. Menus and buttons are provided to allow special characters, such as control-C, control-D, and ESCAPE, to be transmitted to the remote shell.
  • Output scrolling and searching. Since the display capacity of a WAP phone (and to a lesser extent a web browser) is limited, the result of commands producing a large amount of output cannot be, and is not, displayed in a single step. htsh provides facilities for scrolling forward and backward through the generated output and for searching through it.
  • Single HTTP Server can serve multiple Login Hosts. A single HTTP Server can be configured to allow users to login on multiple Login Hosts.
  • Secure transmission. SSL (HTTPS) may be used to encrypt data transmission between the web browser (client PC) or WAP gateway and the htsh web server. If the htsh web server and the htshd server daemon reside on different machines, the server daemon can be configured only to accept transmissions from designated web servers.

Online documentation

The User Guide is intended for end-users making use of htsh/wapsh, and also provides an overview of how htsh/wapsh works. You should read this document first.

The Administration Guide contains complete instructions on how to install and administer the htsh/wapsh server software.

The Implementation notes provide a brief description of the architecture and implementation of the htsh/wapsh server software

Test accounts

htsh/wapsh is currently stable and in public Beta test. Test accounts are available via logins at the following URLs:



These accounts enable you to login on any of a number of test systems (in fact User Mode Linux systems running Debian Linux with 2.4.0-test9 kernels). Test accounts have names of the form ht00, ht01, ht02, and so on through to ht99. All accounts have the password ht.

Each of these accounts is set up with an example set of shortcuts in the file .htshrc.

If you wish to have a private test account, please send email to

Licensing and Downloading

exolution GmbH makes htsh/wapsh available for you to download and use under the terms of the Trolltech QPL (Q Public License) version 1.0. The version of the QPL which applies to htsh/wapsh has been modified in its "Choice of Law" section to state that the license is governed by the laws of Germany. Before downloading htsh/wapsh you should read this copy of the QPL.

In summary, the QPL permits you to use and modify htsh/wapsh for both private and commercial purposes, as long as such modifications are made freely available to others. Proprietary modifications to htsh/wapsh, as well as incorporation into proprietary products, are prohibited by the QPL. If you wish to make proprietary modifications to htsh/wapsh or incorporate htsh/wapsh into a proprietary product, you must purchase a license from exolution GmbH. Further information on purchasing such a license can be obtained by contacting exolution GmbH, or sending email to

Click one of the following links to signify your agreement to the terms of the QPL and download htsh/wapsh

  • wapsh_1.0.tar.gz (Complete htsh/wapsh source code and documentation, gzipped tar file, 3.6MB)
  • (Complete htsh/wapsh source code and documentation, ZIP file, 3.6MB)

Supported Platforms

The following sections detail the platforms currently supported by htsh/wapsh.

htsh HTTP Server Application

Any platform capable of running Apache and PHP (version 4.0.2 or higher) should be able to run the htsh Web/WAP interface (this includes most versions of Unix, as well as Windows NT). To date the following platforms have been tested:

  • Linux 2.2
  • Free BSD 4.1.1

htshd Daemon

The htshd daemon has been compiled and tested on the following platforms:

  • Linux 2.2 and 2.4-test
  • Free BSD 4.1.1
  • SunOS 5.7 (Solaris 7)

Ports to various other platforms are in progress or under consideration. Send mail to for further details.

WAP Phones

The following phones and emulators have been successfully tested with htsh:

  • Nokia 6210
  • Nokia 7110
  • Siemens C35 and S35
  • Nokia WAP Toolkit 2.0 "Blueprint" phone emulator
  • UP.Simulator 4.0 from

We welcome feedback (at from users about their experiences using other phone types.

Web Browsers

Any recent version of Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer will work with htsh. The htsh web application generates standard HTML, so it is expected that users of older versions of these browsers, or of other graphical browsers, should encounter no problems using htsh.