SSH on the Nokia 6820

I was reading a review of the Nokia 6820 over at The Register and I was intrigued to see that Idokorro had written a Java app for it that would give you SSH and telnet access. A bit more digging revealed that there was a free alternative in the form of MidpSSH. The idea of being able to log in to my server from my phone appealed to the inner geek, so I downloaded both to have a play. There are several variants available for the MidpSSH client, for the Nokia 6820 you need the "SSH2 Lite Build (SSH1, SSH2, reduced functionality)" for MIDP 1.0 - the phone only supports MIDP 1.0, and it won't accept applications bigger than 64K. The first problem I had was getting either of them to connect over GPRS - they both just hung when trying to connect. An email conversation with Idokorro tech support ensued, and that helped me get thinking along the right lines to solve the connection problem. The default GPRS profile that's supplied by Vodafone for the phone ("Vodafone GPRS") is set up for WAP access - it uses the wap.vodafone.net GPRS access point (APN) and uses a proxy between you and the outside. I figured that this was probably the problem, either the APN and/or the proxy wasn't passing the SSH traffic on port 22 through. I set up an alternate GPRS profile and everything started working. Here's what you need to do - note that these instructions will only work for Vodafone, you'll need to google for the correct settings if you use another service provider.

1. Go to Menu -> Services -> Settings -> Connection settings -> Active service settings and pick an empty service settings slot.

2. Choose "Edit active service settings" then edit as follows:
Setting's Name: I called mine "Vodafone GPRS Direct"
Homepage: I set mine to http://www.google.com/wml which gets you the Google WML search page, specially designed for phone use.
Proxies: Disable
Data bearer: GPRS

3. Choose "Bearer settings, then configure as follows:
GPRS access point: Internet
Authentication type: Normal
Login type: Automatic
User name: leave blank
Password: leave blank
Note: Some websites recommend you use "web" as the username/password, but it doesn't seem to be needed.

4. Now exit the configuration screens, select "Services -> Home" and the phone should create a GPRS connection and display the Google homepage. Press cancel until you get to the default phone screen.

5. Menu -> Applications -> Collection -> Select Application
and select the SSH application you wish to configure, then "Options" and configure as follows:
Web access: Allowed
Connect via -> Internet
then select "Vodafone GPRS Direct" or whatever you called your new connection profile in step 2 above.

6. Press "Back" until you get to the "Collection" selection screen, fire it up and you should be able to open a SSH connection to the machine of your choice.

Both clients are hampered somewhat by the small screen size on the phone, but the Idokorro one seems to cope with the limitations of the platform best - inputting text in MidpSSH was kinda clunky, but then for $45 (which seems a little steep) I'd expect the Idokorro client to be better. I don't have an immediate need for SSH access from my phone, but it was kinda cool to see it working all the same.

There's one other major advantage of setting up your own direct GPRS profile that I haven't mentioned yet - it apparently bypasses the abysmal Vodafone proxy and content management mess - Vodafone have decided it's their job to reformat and censor the internet, but unfortunately they've done an appalling job of it. Pictures that the phone can display just fine are removed, it's as slow as hell and it decided at one point that Ikea are providers of porn rather than of furniture. It even decided that this site contained adult content at one point, which offended me greatly - I've been accused of many things, but being an adult isn't one of them.

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Categories : Tech


Re: SSH on the Nokia 6820

After hearing the *schwing* all the way over here, I regret to tell you that perl won't run on your fancy new phone. Your wife, kids and bleaklow hares are spared! :)

Re: SSH on the Nokia 6820

I guessed it wouldn't, the phone has only got 3.2Mb of memory ;-)

Re: SSH on the Nokia 6820

Hooray it works! My operator forces me the Proxy-settings on their SMS auto-configurator message, and I didnt find out what was the problem before I stumbled on your blog. Corrected the problem, and "now me surf the net". Thanks. I just need to found out what I did wrong in the e-mail settings ...