SyncTERM is one of the better terminal clients for connecting to a BBS via Telnet or SSH in my opinion, and I have installed it on my Lenovo Thinkpad T440p and my Dell Lattitude running Arch Linux.

It wasn’t difficult to build it from source and install it, but it did require building, not just installing, and therefore I have posted (below) instructions for anyone interested on how to build and install this application from source.

Create a new file called “” or something else of your choosing into your favourite text editor, eg “nano” and copy and paste the following in:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

echo "This will get syncterm, build it, and install it for you!"

# Determine if debian or not
checkOS=$(grep -iE "^id|id_like|REDHAT_BUGZILLA_PRODUCT" /etc/os-release|awk -F\= '{print $2}'|sed 's/"//g')

if [[ "$checkOS" == *"debian"* ]]; then
  # Debian/Ubuntu: To Install apps/libraries used to compile
  echo "Debian/Ubuntu found: Preparing to install relevant libraries..."
  sudo apt-get install -y wget libncurses-dev libncursesw6 gcc libsdl1.2-dev build-essential

if [[ "$checkOS" == *"fedora"* ]]; then
  # Redhat/Fedora: To Install apps/libraries used to compile
  echo "Redhat/Fedora found: Preparing to install relevant libraries..."
  sudo yum -y install wget ncurses-devel gcc sdl12-compat SDL2
  sudo yum -y groupinstall 'Development Tools'

if [[ "$checkOS" == "arch" ]]; then
  # Arch Linux: To Install apps/libraries used to compile
  echo "Arch Linux found: Preparing to install relevant libraries..."
  sudo pacman -S --needed --noconfirm wget sdl12-compat sdl2 gcc ncurses base-devel

# Make a temporary build directory
[[ -d $WDIR ]] && rm -rf $WDIR
mkdir $WDIR && cd $WDIR

# To Pull source
echo "About to download the syncterm application source..."
wget -O
wget -O

# To extract zip files
echo "Extracting the source now..."
for F in *.zip; do unzip -a ${F}; done

# Sort directory structure
echo "Sorting directory structure..."
for D in `ls -1d sbbs*`; do cp -rv ${D}/* .; done
rm -rf sbbs-master-*

# Change directory to
echo "Change into the 'make' folder"
cd src/syncterm

# To get full path src
echo "Set st_path variable for the SRC_ROOT path..."
st_path=$(pwd | sed 's/\/syncterm$//g')

# Time to compile!
echo "Make SRC_ROOT with path: $st_path"
make SRC_ROOT=$st_path

# Install SyncTerm
echo "Install SyncTERM..."
sudo make install

# Find out where Syncterm was installed
echo "Find out where SyncTERM installed"
which syncterm

# Get back to the original directory
cd $CDIR

Now save and exit your text editor, you will need to make this script executable. To do this, run the command “chmod +x”. Verify that this is now executable by listing the current folder showing attributes, eg “ls -l” and you should see the filename now has the attributes “-rwxr-xr-x”

Now you can run this file by doing “./”. Alternatively if you feel trusting you can just copy and paste this into your linux cli.

curl -s|bash

After a few moments, you will have built and installed SyncTERM, and the last output from the script will show you where it’s located (but it should be in the path anyway), so you can just run “syncterm” from the CLI.

(All of the above should work for any Linux distro based on either Debian/Ubuntu, Arch or RedHat/Fedora/CentOS).