SSH client for an Emacs user on iOS

I tested two SSH clients (Prompt 2 and Termius, previously known as Serverauditor) for iOS on an iPad Pro (12.9 inch) with the Smart Keyboard.

Both Prompt 2 and Termius have very similar features and work just great doing basic ssh tasks.

However, I am an avid GNU Emacs user, and only Serverauditor worked out of the box to allow me to use Emacs (i.e., can use option as the meta key). Prompt 2 leaves the Option key as an option key, and inserts “funky” characters instead of being a meta key.

I was a little saddened by this as I find the Prompt 2 interface a little nicer (more customizations in the user interface). So, like every question, a solution has already been posted on the internet.

I found the following StackExchange post on how to translate the resulting characters to Meta+symbols (e.g., option+a yields a å, however I want it to be Meta-a).

Adding this code to my .emacs file at least allows me to use Prompt 2 for emacs. However, some keys are not able to be completely mapped. For example, “Option + e” cannot be bound to M-e, because that key tries to make an accent, which Emacs cannot not seem to intercept correctly.

I asked the Prompt 2 developers about re-binding Option to a Meta key, and their answer was “I’m afraid there’s no way to change/bind/unbind keys on the keyboard right now. … Your best bet in this case is to use the on-screen keys to use meta or ESC.” They must have never used Emacs, because clicking on-screen for a meta key is not even close to a solution.

Overall, both Prompt 2 and Termius work great as SSH clients. But, if you want my recommendation: use Termius (Previously known as Serverauditor).

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