NiftyTelnet is a freeware telnet client for the Macintosh. Version 1.1 is now available.


Here is a selection of key features available in NiftyTelnet:

NiftyTelnet distributions

NiftyTelnet comes in several flavors below. Due to U.S. export laws, only U.S. citizens or residents may download versions which support encryption. A non-encrypting version is available for non-U.S. Citizens/Residents.

The distributions are binhexed StuffIt! files which StuffIt Expander can decode. Each binary distribution includes the application, an apple guide, a README file, the Navigator Telnet Fix utility, and a PGP signature file. The MacBinarized version of the application is signed by Chris Newman's Public Key and may be verified using MacPGP. Although signature verification is optional, it does give some assurance that the application has not been modified to include a virus or trojan horse.

U.S. Citizens, U.S. Residents: How to get it

Export of this software from the United States of America may require a specific license from the United States Government.

NiftyTelnet 68K Version 1.1 (StuffIt/BinHex: 174K)
NiftyTelnet PowerPC Version 1.1 (StuffIt/BinHex: 190K)
NiftyTelnet FAT Version 1.1 (StuffIt/BinHex: 257K)

Non-U.S. Citizens/Residents: How to get it

A non-encrypting version is available for non-U.S. Citizens/Residents:

NiftyTelnet FAT Version 1.1 (no encryption) (StuffIt/BinHex: 253K)

NiftyTelnet Frequently Asked Questions

Why doesn't NiftyTelnet work as a "telnet helper" for Netscape?

The versions of Netscape I have tested use a non-standard technique to launch telnet helper applications. I refuse to bloat NiftyTelnet to support non-standard behavior of other programs. If you set your Netscape telnet helper to Navigator Telnet Fix, then Netscape's non-standard behavior will be translated into a standard launch of the telnet helper you select via Internet Config.

Why doesn't printing from Pine work?

NiftyTelnet does not yet support printing. It will be added in version 1.2.

Why can't I edit what I'm typing when I use NiftyTelnet to connect to a MUD or non-telnet port?

NiftyTelnet does not yet support "linemode" which is needed by these servers. It will be added in version 1.2.

Why don't the cursor keys work?

Try changing the setting of the "Emacs Arrow Keys" option. If that doesn't work, you need to make sure your telnet server is configured correctly.

Why doesn't NiftyTelnet include an FTP server?

I recommend using Peter Lewis's NetPresenz. I see no reason to reinvent the wheel in a telnet client when Peter Lewis has done such a fine job.

When will the next version be released?

I work on NiftyTelnet as a hobby and can not predict how much spare time I will have. Therefore I refuse to give release dates.

What do I tell my Internet service provider to get the username option working?

NiftyTelnet uses that field for two things: (1) if your server supports Kerberos Authentication and you have Authentication Manager installed, it uses it to select credentials. (2) it sends it as the "USER" environment variable via the NEW-ENVIRON (with fallback to ENVIRON) telnet option. So you can ask your ISP for either Kerberos V4 telnet authentication (RFC 1411, 1415: a good idea since it avoids sending your cleartext password over the network) or support for passing the "USER" environment variable via the NEW-ENVIRON telnet option (RFC 1572, which just saves you typing your username).

Major changes from version 1.0


Bug Reports

Bug reports and comments should be sent to Chris Newman. Suggestions for new features are welcome, although I will only implement suggestions that I feel fit the philosophy of the program. Please check the FAQ above before sending email.

Sometimes trying out the problem with the following versions can help me track the bug: NiftyTelnet FAT Debugging Version 1.1 (StuffIt/BinHex: 298K)
NiftyTelnet 68K Version 1.0 (StuffIt/StuffIt/BinHex: 99K)
NiftyTelnet PPC Version 1.0 (StuffIt/StuffIt/BinHex: 112K)


NiftyTelnet is designed to be reliable, efficient and easy to configure. Most of the code in NiftyTelnet has been rewritten at least once, and some of the machine independent code has been in development since 1988. It was built entirely from scratch without using bulky Macintosh application frameworks or libraries.

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NiftyTelnet / Chris Newman /