How To Tell If Your Linux Server Uses xinetd OR inetd sever

by on March 10, 2008 · 4 comments· LAST UPDATED March 10, 2008


Q. How to tell if my Linux server is using xinetd or inetd service?

A. inetd is also known as super-server daemon and it runs on many Unix / Linux systems that manages Internet service such as ftp or pop3 or telnet.

xinetd (eXtended InterNET Daemon) is also an open-source daemon which runs on many Unix / Linux systems and manages Internet-based services such as ftp or telnet.

You can use netstat or ps command to find out if Linux / UNIX server using xinetd or inetd server:
# ps aux | egrep '[xi]netd'
# netstat -tulpn | grep LISTEN | egrep '[xi]netd'
Sample output:

tcp        0      0    *               LISTEN     8552/inetd


tcp        0      0       *                   LISTEN      5271/xinetd


  • RHEL / CentOS / Fedora Linux runs xinetd.
  • *BSD / Debian / Ubuntu Linux / Mac OS X runs inetd.
  • Default inetd configuration file location /etc/inetd.conf
  • Default xinetd configuration file location /etc/xinetd.conf
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stanislav Lechev [AngelFire] March 11, 2008 at 7:10 am

actualy you dont have to type:
grep ‘[xi]netd’

this one should be more accurate:
grep ‘[x]inetd’


2 Stanislav Lechev [AngelFire] March 11, 2008 at 7:12 am

ohh.. and when you use -l (LISTEN) option of netstat … you dont have to grep for LISTEN


3 James Gibbons April 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Also you can look for the /etc/inetd.conf file or /etc/xinetd.d subdirectory, and whichever directory you find tells you which one you are using.


4 Mohammad November 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm

What is the difference between initd and xinetd ?


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