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In computing, a virtual terminal (VT) is a program that emulates the functionality of a classic terminal used during the early days of computing for accessing a server or a corporate mainframe.
In e-commerce, a virtual terminal is a Web-based solution that allows merchants to process credit card transactions. It is an alternative to a swipe machine.
A virtual terminal is also known as a terminal emulator.
A virtual terminal allows a PC to connect to a remote server, usually to perform a file transfer or run an application. In the past, this functionality used to be performed by a physical terminal, but is now emulated in software. The PC and the server may be running different operating systems, but can communicate using well-known network protocols such as Telnet, SSH, FTP, etc. A virtual terminal normally has a command-line interface, which requires typing cryptic commands to communicate with a server.
PuTTY is a well-known example of a virtual terminal.