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.

10 comment

  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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