MS-DOS Kermit and Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10
Can I Use MS-DOS Kermit in 32-bit (or 64-bit) Windows?
MS-DOS Kermit is a 16-bit DOS program for
MS-DOS, PC-DOS, DR-DOS, etc, that also can be used (with some extra setup
work) in Windows 3.1 and earlier.
MS-DOS Kermit was not designed for and was never intended to run under
32-bit or 64-bit Windows operating systems such as Windows 95, Windows 98,
Windows Millenium Edition, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows
2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7, etc etc. It does not even start on
Windows 10, which says "This app can't run on your PC".
Although you might be able to
start MS-DOS Kermit on these platforms, it will not be able to access all of
their devices and features:
- For serial communications, MS-DOS Kermit accesses the COM port hardware
directly. Therefore it can use only Windows communication ports whose drivers
perfectly emulate 8250 or 16550A UART hardware. It can not use TAPI devices,
Winmodems, RPI modems, ISDN modems, nor in most cases PCMCIA, USB, or
Plug-n-Play devices, which are accessible only through 32-bit Windows drivers
to which MS-DOS Kermit (as a 16-bit application) does not have access. Nor
can it access true COM ports if they are owned by TAPI, unless you release
them from TAPI first, which you must do outside of MS-DOS Kermit, since MS-DOS
Kermit can not access TAPI.
- MS-DOS Kermit can not use 32-bit Windows network stacks. It can't use
its own built-in TCP/IP network stack either because only one network stack
can be active at a time on a given adapter.
- MS-DOS Kermit can not access long file or directory names, or file or
directory names containing spaces.
- MS-DOS Kermit can not access windows printer queues.
- MS-DOS Kermit does its own memory management, which is liable to collide
with that done by Windows, resulting in "out of memory" or other errors.
Nowadays new PCs tend to have Windows XP or higher preinstalled, plus a
Winmodem and/or USB serial port, and the Microsoft TCP/IP stack. MS-DOS
Kermit can not use the Winmodem, nor can it use the TCP/IP stack, nor USB
ports, etc. Thus it is not appropriate or recommended for, nor supported
on, Windows 95 and later; that is, any 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows.
If you wish to try MS-DOS Kermit under 32- or 64-bit Windows (or OS/2), you
may do so at your own risk. If you have any trouble, the remedy is to use
Kermit 95 instead, which is the native, recommended, and supported
32-bit Windows Kermit software for Windows 95 and above, and which has none
of the limitations listed here. It "just works" out of the box with any
Windows communications device or network stack, gives you full access to
Windows features, and is fully supported in Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000,
XP, 2003, Vista, and Windows 7, as well as in IBM OS/2, and it has loads of
features that MS-DOS Kermit doesn't have, including XYZMODEM protocols built
SSH client, an
Kerberos and SSL/TLS security,
Unicode, and much more.
[Kermit 95 Home]
[MS-DOS Kermit Home]
[Kermit Project Home]
The Kermit Project /
Columbia University /