The Shellsock FAQ

What is Shellsock?

Shellsock is a winsock emulator(a.k.a sockets spoofer), that allows you run programs like Netscape and mIRC over a restricted unix shell account.

How is ShellSock different from TIA or SLiRP?

TIA and other such software requires you to have a host program functioning at the unix end. Some service provider specifically ban execution of such programs. The biggest advantage that ShellSock provides is that it is capable of emulating the winsock standard with just a basic "lynx" and/or the "telnet" program.

What about I-COMM and SlipKnot?

Although I-COMM and SlipKnot are capable of functioning with just lynx, they require the redirection facility which some providers by virtue of their restricted shells do not provide. Also these are only browsers and do not support either IRC or mail. ShellSock on the other hand is a complete winsock emulator and will work with nearly all existing 16-bit IP clients!

If Internet providers don't allow you to run TIA etc why would they allow Shellsock?

Shellsock requires only three programs to function correctly - telnet, stty and lynx and does not require any other software to be present at the server end. Also ShellSock is completely capable of functioning with either or both "Lynx" and "Telnet". When using ShellSock you are not loading the unix system with any other external program (which is what most providers object to). And since throwing out or disabling "Lynx" or "Telnet" effectively kills a shell account and due to the fact that ShellSock is highly configurable, providers would find it difficult to restrict usage of ShellSock.

What version of sockets does Shellsock emulate?

Shellsock emulates the 1.1 standard of winsock. You can't call Shellsock as a winsock ver 1.1 compliant software as it has to resort to some very crafty tricks in order to work with a shell account. (Which is the same reason why ShellSock occasionally has problems with some IP clients).

Does Shellsock work under Windows95?

Yes it does. But Shellsock is a 16 bit winsock, therefore it will support only 16 bit IP clients under Windows95.

Is Shellsock commercial, shareware or freeware?

Initially we had decided to release this as shareware. But realising that ShellSock is what every shell user would need and use, who are we to put a price on what is virtually a requirement. So in the best interests of all shell users, we are releasing Shellsock as FREEWARE. As the saying goes...'Some of the best things in life are free..' :-).

What type of software won't work with shellsock?

What programs have been tested working with ShellSock?

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