Qodem : About | Downloads | Screenshots | Getting Started | SourceForge Project Page

Qodem is active again! This is still the homepage, but the code hosting has moved to GitHub.

The coming release will be 1.0beta, hoping to come out before January 1, 2016. Primary goals are stability and a first-class experience for the Windows version. Bug reports, feature requests and pull requests are very appreciated!

As of Tuesday, May 26, 2015, the Qodem 1.0beta development branch has been dedicated to the public domain. To the extent possible under law, Kevin Lamonte has dedicated all copyright and related and neighboring rights to this software to the public domain worldwide. This software is distributed without any warranty. For jurisdictions that do not recognize the public domain, Qodem 1.0beta is also available under the terms of the CC0 license.


Welcome! Qodem is an open-source re-implementation of the DOS-era Qmodem serial communications package, updated for modern systems. Qodem goes beyond similar DOS-era emulators in many ways:

Users wishing to test out Qodem on live bulletin boards should check out the Telnet BBS Guide list of telnet-able BBS systems. For convenience, this list has been converted into a Qodem phonebook file. Copy it into ~/.qodem (or if on Windows, into My Documents\qodem\prefs) and load it by pressing L in the Qodem phonebook screen.

Qodem releases prior to 1.0beta are licensed under the GNU GPL, version 2 or later. All versions since May 26, 2015 (1.0beta and later) have been dedicated to the public domain.

Qodem is hosted on SourceForge.net.

Main Features

Qodem's main features are:

These features are detailed in depth in the Qodem User's Guide. The remainder of this section provides a very quick overview of the main interface.

Qodem is driven entirely by the keyboard. Qodem has two main modes of operation: the phonebook and the TERMINAL screen. The phonebook (screenshot) contains the list of sites to access, with each site being customizable for username, password, emulation, toggles, etc.. In TERMINAL mode (screenshot) most keystrokes are passed directly to the "other side" (or the local shell). Nearly all of the time pressing the ESCAPE key or the backtick (a.k.a. "reverse or open apostrophe `") will work to get out of dialogs and the phonebook screen.

Qodem is exited by pressing Alt-X while in TERMINAL mode. (If there is no active connection, Ctrl-C will also bring up the exit dialog.) Pressing 'y' or Enter at the exit prompt will exit Qodem.

Phonebook Mode

In phonebook mode, the following keystrokes will bring up the most important features:

These are just the most common commands, many others are available including find and sort functions, loading other phonebook files, manually dialing the modem, and others.


In TERMINAL mode, the following keystrokes will bring up some of the important features:

These are just the most common commands, many others are available including byte translation, split screen, doorway mode, special character handling for CR/NUL/DEL, and various toggles.

Status Line

Throughout Qodem, the bottom line of the screen is used to report status and provide hints about what keystrokes are available. In TERMINAL mode the status line can be turned off with Alt-- (Alt-minus), or toggled between two different forms with Alt-7.


Qodem has benefited from the work of several other people. We wish to thank a few people specifically:


Notes Regarding Qmodem

For reference, the last shareware version of Qmodem (Qmodem 4.6 Test Drive) is available here. The Qmodem user's guide may provide a good starting point for understanding Qodem. It is available here in several formats:

Please note that Qodem is NOT Qmodem™. Qmodem™ is a trademarked commercial program, originally written by John Friel III, last released by Mustang Software, Inc., a quality program that can handle all kinds of serial communications needs. Newer versions of QmodemPro™ for Windows (above 2.0) can connect to hosts via telnet. Qodem has many behavior deviations from Qmodem.

More information about both Qodem and Qmodem is available on the About page.

Qodem Project

SourceForge Qodem Project Page
Submit A New Bug Report
Latest ChangeLog
Latest TODO
Qodem man page
Work Log

Terminal Emulation Resources

Terminal Information Archive

BBS Resources

Telnet BBS Guide
The BBS Documentary


The Qodem Project is planning to port the public release code of the HS/Link bi-directional file transfer protocol to POSIX environments. No timetable is set, but the files themselves are available here. We are working under the assumption that the original author did in fact release the code as "public domain" with his statement here (originally here).

Other Projects

Qodem users, other terminal emulator developers, and bulletin board system (BBS) users/developers may find these projects useful:
PDCurses win32a fork
Mystic BBS