The h3270 program is a server to which clients connect using a
web browser. h3270 itself connects to the host using TCP/IP
(Telnet). In a standard scenario, h3270 is installed on a
dedicated server machine, typically a Unix host or a Windows
machine. Nothing needs to be installed on the clients —
all they need is a web browser.
If you just want to try out h3270, you can also install it right
on your client machine, and use your web browser to connect to
We provide two kinds of files in
area: binary releases and source releases. A binary
release is ready to run on a specific platform. All the
parts of h3270 are pre-compiled and pre-configured. A source
release includes only the source code of the program.
Before you can use it, you must compile h3270 and the components
that it relies on yourself. This allows you to use it even on
platforms which we don't support with a binary release, and it
also allows you to modify h3270 to suit your own needs.
For a given version X.Y.Z, the binary releases are named
h3270-X.Y.Z-bin-linux.tar.gz , or
The source release is named
h3270-X.Y.Z.tar.gz , or
Both of these files (.tar.gz and .zip) contain the same code,
they are just compressed differently. Choose whichever you can
handle best on your platform.
Binary releases are very easy to install. The top-level
directory of the release, when you unpack it, contains a file
README that contains installation instructions. If you want to
build h3270 from the source release, follow the instructions
below, on the remainder of this page.
Prerequisites for Building from Source
h3270 is a server-side Java application and therefore runs in
any environment where Java is available. s3270, on which h3270
relies, is a C program that's easy to build and which runs under
all major operating systems (we have tested this under GNU/Linux
This is what you need in order to get h3270 up and running:
- JDK 1.4 or higher.
- A J2EE-compliant web container. Any version of Tomcat, for
example, will do (we have tested versions 3.3.1a, 4.1.29, and
- If you want to use h3270 as a portlet, you need a JSR-168
compliant portal server. We have tested this with Jetspeed
2.0-M2, Liferay, and the IBM WebSphere Portal Server (WPS),
but any other portal server should work as well. We have also
been successful to run h3270 as an IView within the SAP portal
server, but have only experimental code for this yet. You can
find this code in the
- The Ant build tool.
We've been using version 1.5.1, but any recent version should
- The s3270 program to communicate with the host. Because
of a special feature that was added particularly for h3270,
you need s3270
version 3.3.1-alpha10 or higher.
The following are the steps to install h3270. In these
instructions, we assume that you are using Tomcat version 4 or
higher, but the instructions should apply to any other web
container with only trivial changes.
- Build and install Ant as described in its installation
- Build and install Tomcat as described in its installation
instructions. In the following, we refer to the directory
where you installed Tomcat as
- Download and build s3270 according to its installation
instructions. Place the resulting executable
/usr/local/bin, or any other directory of
your choice. We call this
$S3270_HOME. To build s3270 under
Windows, we recommend
the Cygwin environment.
Link s3270 statically and place both
$S3270_HOME. (There may
be other ways to do it, but the above is the procedure we
- Unpack h3270 into a directory of your choice. We call
- If you placed s3270 into a directory other
exec-path entry in the
It must contain the directory where you put the s3270 binary
(not the name of the binary itself).
$H3270_HOME, copy the
build.properties and make changes as necessary.
You must at least change
point to a jar file that contains the Servlet API. In Tomcat,
this file can be found
If you want to use h3270 as a portlet, you must also change
portlet-api.jar so that it points to a
jar file with the Porlet API classes. If this entry is not
present or not correct, h3270 still builds without
problems, but the portlet is not compiled. The other entries
ant war to build the h3270 web archive.
The resulting file will be called
h3270.war to your web container or
portlet container. In Tomcat, simply copy the file
$TOMCAT_HOME/webapps. In Jetspeed, copy it
WEB-INF/deploy within the Jetspeed web
application. Most other containers have a similar, simple
deployment procedure (see below for some notes on specific
- If you use Tomcat, start it and point your browser
http://localhost:8080/h3270/servlet. If you
use a Portlet container, start it and log in to the portal.
You will need to use the administration facilities of the
portal to place the portlet onto a page. The portlet is
- For details on how to use the h3270 user interface, please
refer to the
H3270 User Guide.
Notes on some Portal Servers
- Liferea Portal Server 4.0 A special deployment
liferea-portlet.xml is needed for
Liferea. It is included in the WEB-INF directory of h3270.
- IBM WebSphere Portal Server (WPS) 5.1 You may have
to uncomment the taglib declaration for the "portlet" library
portal servers seem to do fine without it.
WPS uses an old version of the Apache Avalon framework which
conflicts with the version shipped with h3270. We have not
been able to reconcile this via classloader settings, so for
now we just recommend to remove the
This jar is apparently only used in one of IBM's factory
portlets, and we have not been able to find out which. If
somebody runs into trouble because of this, or finds a better
solution, let us know.