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An experimental python Telnet and SSH server framework

The primary purpose of x/84 is to provide a server framework for building environments that emulate the feeling of an era that predates the world wide web. It may be used for developing a classic bulletin board system (BBS) – one is provided as the ‘default’ scripting layer. It may also be used to develop a MUD, a text-based game, or a game-hosting server such as done by dgamelaunch.

You may access the “default board” provided by x/84 at telnet host


# or

# or


x/84 supplies a scripting engine for developing character-at a time telnet or ssh server, such as MUD or BBS systems. Technologies used in x/84 are derived from miniboa (Apache 2.0 Licensed) for telnet, blessed (MIT Licensed) for terminal capabilities, sqlitedict (Public Domain) for persistent data, paramiko for ssh and sftp services, and for http service.

Asynchronous inter-process communication between sessions is provided through an event queuing framework, for scripting of ‘shared’ experiences. Several examples of these are provided, such as The default board provides several demonstrating activities.

All terminal types supported by curses (the termlib and terminfo) databases are allowed, with a “pythonic” terminal framework supplied through blessed.

Portability is as equal to python, and has been tested on Raspberry Pi, Android, Mac, OpenBSD, Solaris, etc.

ANSI Art, such as found on ACiD dark domains DVD, is translated for reasonably accurate reproductions for both UTF-8 and IBM CP437 terminals. This allows classic DOS art to be used on modern terminals such as, or classic emulating terminals such as syncterm. Artwork with Sauce records are also supported.

See clients for a list of compatible clients.


Note that only Linux, BSD, or OSX is supported, due to the blessed dependency on curses.

  1. Install python 2.7 and pip. More than likely this is possible through your preferred distribution packaging system.
  1. Install x/84:

    pip install x84[with_crypto]

    Or, if C compiler and libssl, etc. is not available, simply:

    pip install x84

    Please note however that without the [with_crypto] option, you will not be able to run any of the web, ssh, and sftp servers, and password hashing (and verification) will be significantly slower.

  2. Launch the x84.engine python module:

  3. Telnet to 6023, Assuming a bsd telnet client:

    telnet localhost 6023

All data files are written to ~/.x84/. To create a custom board, you might copy the default folder of the x/84 python module to a local path, and point the scriptpath variable of ~/.x84/default.ini to point to that folder.

Simply edit and save changes, and re-login to see them. Adjust the show_traceback variable to display any errors directly to your telnet or ssh client.

Documentation, Support, Issue Tracking

See Documentation for API and general tutorials, especially the developers section for preparing a developer’s environment if you wish to contribute upstream. Of note, the Terminal interface is used for keyboard input and screen output, and is very well-documented in blessed.

This project isn’t terribly serious (for example, there are no tests), though contributions (especially fixes and documentation) are welcome. See the project on github for source tree and issue tracking. If there are features, bugs, or changes you would like to see, feel free to open an issue.

If you would like to chat with developers of x/84, we are in channel #1984 on