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How do I Telnet as the Root User?

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     pam_securetty.so

Comment it out by prefixing # symbol:

#auth       required     pam_securetty.so

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

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • vivek October 14, 2006, 7:13 am

    very correct.

  • Munavar March 6, 2007, 6:01 am

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

  • Graham March 27, 2007, 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.

  • Astro.Geekjoy March 23, 2008, 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…


  • daya October 31, 2008, 12:08 pm

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

  • Priya August 29, 2011, 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?

  • Hussain Free December 12, 2011, 1:14 pm

    for ubuntu 11.10

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

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

  • Ashutosh February 5, 2014, 3:29 am

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

  • GMShiralkar May 27, 2014, 10:00 am

    It is very nicely work in centos 6.3

  • Jash July 7, 2016, 1:31 pm

    ‘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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