In the time I’ve been administering CM, I’ve used Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X – all as my primary desktop operating system. On Windows, I mostly used Avaya Site Admin (ASA), in either interface mode (GEDI or Emulation). That was fine, when I used only Windows, and only ever needed to administer CM from stations where ASA was installed. I fairly quickly tired of using RDP (to connect to a Windows machine that had ASA installed) or a VM (to run a Windows VM that had ASA installed on a desktop without either Windows or ASA). So I found other ways to give me access to the System Administration Terminal (SAT). SAT is the term Avaya uses for the functionality that permits CM to be administered via a command-line curses-like interface, generally via telnet, SSH, or serial.

Windows

Early-on in my CM administration experience, I asked some employees at Avaya and our Avaya Business Partner what tools they recommended that I use for administering CM via SAT. The responses I got were entirely negative toward ASA; everyone preferred VanDyke SecureCRT, and many people used it exclusively. I tried SecureCRT, but decided that it didn’t provide any appreciable benefit over ASA.

I had long been mRemoteNG (previously mRemote) for connection/session management of the various things I needed to be able to administer, regardless of whether each thing used RDP or SSH. For those things that used SSH, mRemoteNG launched a PuTTY session behind-the-scenes, and presented its UI in a tab. The only thing holding me back from administering CM that way was that I didn’t have any way to use SAT’s required function keys from within PuTTY.

Enter TuTTY. It’s a fork of PuTTY that supports AT&T Terminal 513 emulation, which is the default (and preferred) terminal type for administering via SAT. I was able to simply replace the PuTTY executable with the TuTTY executable, configure a session to use AT&T 513 keyboard, and have mRemoteNG launch that session and connect to my CM SAT ports. I was finally able to administer CM from within the same application that I used to administer nearly everything else. The best part about TuTTY? It doesn’t require installation, and it’s extremely small. I made it available on a fileserver, and I was thereafter able to administer CM from any computer on our internal network, simply by running the executable.

Mac OS X

One of the first things I did after switching my primary desktop to OS X was look for an awesome connection manager, like mRemoteNG, and an awesome terminal emulator, like TuTTY. What I found was Royal TSX and iTerm2. (The Royal family now has a Royal TSX equivalent for Windows, but I’ve never used it.) I don’t use it identically to how I used Windows, though, because Royal TSX doesn’t support iTerm2 profiles - it just supports a subset of iTerm2 customization. So… I use Royal TSX for most things, and iTerm2 directly for a few other things. It’s not a huge problem for me to do that, but I’d definitely prefer it if I could administer CM from within a Royal TSX window.

iTerm2 doesn’t support AT&T 513 keyboard emulation, but it does support changing key mappings on a per-“profile” basis, which allows us to manually assign the necessary keystrokes that SAT needs, effectively pretending to have VT220 compatibility. Profiles in iTerm2 are basically just application configurations that can be re-used among sessions, regardless of the type of connection.

To do this, create a new iTerm2 profile (mine is named “Aura CM VT220”), and then navigate to the “Keys” tab. Add/edit the Keyboard Shortcuts such that they include the following (all Actions are “Send Escape Sequence”):

Keyboard ShortcutEsc+
F1[3~
F2[34~
F3[29~
F4[33~
F5[28~
F6[1~
F7[6~
F8[5~
F9[33~

Also ensure that “Delete key sends ^H” is marked. Save your profile, and then open a new tab with that profile. Connect to your SAT port, i.e., ssh username@procr.fqdn -p 5022. You’ll be prompted for your password (and potentially PIN). After you provide it, you’ll be prompted for terminal type:

System: Large                        Software Version: R016x.03.0.124.0

Terminal Type (513, 715, 4410, 4425, VT220, NTT, W2KTT, SUNT): [513] 

Type “vt220” and press enter. You’ll be delivered to the usual SAT Command prompt. Note that if you failed to type “vt220” and instead hit enter, or tried another terminal type, you should immediately type “logoff” and hit enter, and retry your connection.