Terminal Emulator

What Does Terminal Emulator Mean?

A terminal emulator is a software application that replicates the functionalities of classic computer terminals. These terminals consisted of a monitor and a keyboard, and were used mainly to access another computer, such as a minicomputer or a mainframe. The terminal emulator performs the same functionality in software.


Techopedia Explains Terminal Emulator

A terminal emulator allows a host computer to access another computer, including remote ones, through either a command-line interface or a graphical one. The communication is made possible using protocols such as Telnet and SSH.

The terminal emulator allows the host computer to use or run applications on the remote computer, as well as transfer files between the two. The two systems need not be running the same operating system.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.