How do I Telnet as the Root User?

by on March 24, 2006 · 9 comments· LAST UPDATED November 4, 2008

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Q. How do I telnet as the root user?

A. This is really a bad idea as telnet is insecure, because passwords are sent as clear text format. Instead, you should use SSH for connections. I suggest that you use SSH to connect to a system instead of Telnet for security purposes. By default, for security purposes, the root user can not telnet. However, here is method in case you need root access via telnet:

Edit /etc/pam.d/login and /etc/pam.d/remote files using a text editor such as vi. Find the line that read as follows:

auth       required

Comment it out by prefixing # symbol:

#auth       required

Save and close the file. Now, you should be able to telnet to your system as the root user.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 vivek October 14, 2006 at 7:13 am

very correct.


2 Munavar March 6, 2007 at 6:01 am

i learn more things from this site, its very useful forme. thankyou


3 Graham March 27, 2007 at 8:23 am

This won’t work in Ubuntu from at least Dapper. As inetd is not installed by default you will also need to install the netkit-inetd package.


4 Astro.Geekjoy March 23, 2008 at 1:15 am


telnet is just fine for the home user behind a wireless router and cable modem using private IPs. Learning how to setup and use telnet is a fine first step to Linux expertise. Implementing it helps build skills on the console and confidence in the ability to configure a system. Most newbies will later go on to ssh.

And just think it all first began with telnet…



5 daya October 31, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Really this is very good forum.i will spread this among my all friends.


6 Priya August 29, 2011 at 6:58 am

I tried doing the above process but was not able to login using telnet.
i am using CentOS

Is there anything i am missing?


7 Hussain Free December 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm

for ubuntu 11.10

auth [success=ok new_authtok_reqd=ok ignore=ignore user_unknown=bad default=die]

commit this line
#auth [success=ok new_authtok_reqd=ok ignore=ignore user_unknown=bad default=die]


8 Ashutosh February 5, 2014 at 3:29 am

its works also if we made changes in /etc/pam.d/remote only :)


9 GMShiralkar May 27, 2014 at 10:00 am

It is very nicely work in centos 6.3


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