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miniterm - Minitel® emulator


wm/minitel/miniterm [ address ]


Miniterm connects to the Minitel® service at the given address, by default the France Telecom Internet gateway to its Minitel® service, tcp!pdc.minitelfr.com!513. The address can be any form acceptable to dial(2). Miniterm opens a new window that mimics a Minitel display. An array of buttons on the right hand side (in 40 character mode) or bottom (in 80 character mode) offer the special Minitel functions, with French abbreviations. Characters typed on the keyboard are sent to the server; typing the return key acts as Suite or Envoi as required. Clicking on a word with the mouse sends it to the server.

The France Telecom gateway offers a demonstration service using ID ZXNET1 with password DEMFTD. Once connected, the services PAGESM (a directory of all Minitel services) and FT (France Telecom's information service) are available without charge. See www.minitelfr.com for further information.

On certain native Inferno hardware, miniterm can also connect directly via a modem connection, using an address of the form modem!modeminit!number, which sends the string modeminit to the modem to initialise it, then dials the given number. For example:

wm/minitel/miniterm modem!F3!00133836431414

Here, the F3 is a code that tells the modem to enable V.23, which must be used when connecting to the France Telecom servers. To use pulse dialing instead of tone dialing the phone number can be prefixed with a P, as in:

wm/minitel/miniterm modem!F3!P3614

If the parameter specifies a network connection or a direct connection with a phone number the software will attempt to connect immediately. If the on-screen button Cx/Fin is used to disconnect and then re-connect, miniterm will use the same address if it is a network connection but prompt for a new phone number for a direct connection. When prompting for a new number the top row of the screen is used to allow the user to edit the last used number. Simple editing is available, and the minitel keys do the obvious things.

The Minitel function keys are displayed on the right hand side of the screen in 40 column mode on a network connection and can be swapped to the left hand side by hitting the <- key. In direct dial mode and 80 column network mode the keys are displayed at the bottom of the screen. In network mode they are redisplayed as appropriate on 40 to 80 column mode changes.

Miniterm provides a software keyboard, activated by the Clavier button, which understands some of the Minitel keyboard mappings. For example, hitting `A' results in a capital A on the screen in spite of the Videotex case mapping.


soft modem (no longer supported)
text and semigraphic characters




charon(1), telnet(1)


There is no button to control use of error correction in direct dial mode; it will be enabled only if the server requests it, but not all do. Without it direct dial screens are occasionally corrupted.

The software keyboard is not AZERTY. Worse, it does not always come to the top on a mode change.

Some screens look wrong in 80 column mode.

On a network connection, choosing USA displays iC at the bottom left hand corner of the screen. The server really is sending this sequence. Both the FT emulator and their explorer plug-in suffer from it too.

MINITERM(1 ) Rev:  Thu Feb 15 14:42:47 GMT 2007