How do I Telnet as the Root User?

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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.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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  1. 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.

  2. Hi,

    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…


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

    Is there anything i am missing?

  4. 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]

  5. ‘cyberciti’ is the first thing I search whenever I come across any problem in Linux/UNIX because the answer will be final here. Thanks a lot!!! :)

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