Turn on telnet server on Debian Linux

Q. How do I install and turn on telnet server on Debian Linux VPS Server?


A. I don’t recommend using telnet at all on VPS or any other Linux / UNIX server. Telnet transfers all data including passwords in clear text format. It is recommended that you use ssh which is installed by default.

Use ssh and connect to remote server called boo.myvps.com, enter:
ssh user@boo.myvps.com
ssh root@boo.myvps.com
ssh root@server-ip-address

In case you still need telnet, type the following two commands (not recommended
# apt-get install telnetd
# /etc/init.d/inetd restart
$ telnet server-ip-address

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11 comments… add one
  • Shailesh Kumar May 8, 2009 @ 19:13

    I did the steps given here but the telnet does not seem to be up and running. I am using DSL (Dam Small Linux). It gives me connection refused on the other linux system.

  • tika Oct 29, 2009 @ 13:38

    i need to now who to use telnet in debian

  • yacout Mar 11, 2010 @ 8:03

    I have not this file



    • matto Jun 4, 2010 @ 10:21

      try /etc/init.d/openbsd-inetd restart

      • Carlos Apr 28, 2015 @ 0:27

        Thx dude

  • BOBG Jan 27, 2011 @ 14:10


  • Elbaf Feb 2, 2011 @ 14:36

    Do what matto said BOBG , in Debian 5 inetd is openbsd-inetd

    hence /etc/init.d/openbsd-inetd restart

  • Sharif Sep 8, 2015 @ 11:52

    “E: Couldn’t find package telnetd” in debian,
    what should I need to do??

  • Chris H May 9, 2016 @ 16:55

    Please note that these instructions are specifically for installing and running telnet SERVER. Based on the comments here, some of you are looking for the telnet CLIENT. If you need just the telnet client, try:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install telnet

  • estevan Sep 22, 2016 @ 14:37

    Nice post :v

  • Kenneth Sep 10, 2017 @ 9:16

    i tried gettin Telnet on my linux this is what i got, root@kali:~# telnet apt-get install telnetd
    Usage: telnet [-4] [-6] [-8] [-E] [-L] [-a] [-d] [-e char] [-l user]
    [-n tracefile] [ -b addr ] [-r] [host-name [port]]
    what should i do next?

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