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Ubuntu Linux enable telnet service

Q. How do I install and start telnet service / server under Ubuntu Linux?

A. Telnet is an insecure service. It is recommended that you use ssh service. However sometime telnet server or service is needed. Here are instructions to enable telnet:

Install telnetd server

$ sudo apt-get install telnetd
Restart inetd service:
$ sudo /etc/init.d/openbsd-inetd restart
You should now be able to telnet to the server from Windows or Linux desktop system to Ubentu Linux telnet server. Type the following command to connect to Telnet server:
$ telnet ubentu-linux-server-ip
$ telnet
$ telnet ubentu.mydomain.com

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{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Juan July 13, 2007, 5:30 am

    I tried this with ubuntu feisty fawn and it din’t work, it says

    sudo: /etc/init.d/inetd: command not found

    I have telnetd installed

  • zer0x October 2, 2007, 1:49 pm

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


  • Raghav Chettri March 17, 2008, 10:30 am

    Running Telnet Server differs as per Linux OS you use.
    If your Telnet server is not starting or you find “Connection refused…” try this for DEBIAN LINUX

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

    Now try telnet..

    SMile now :-)


  • Phil Karras April 14, 2008, 3:49 pm

    I’ve just installed Ubuntu Server 7.04 as LAMP & set the /etc/inetd.conf file as specified & when I try to restart the process:

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

    I get “command not found” What have I done wrong?

    Phil Karras

    • Dhaval January 25, 2015, 5:11 am

      Install by command sudo apt-get install openbsd-inetd and then put the command sudo telnet ip-address it will work

  • nick humphrey May 28, 2008, 6:47 am

    that means that openbsd-inetd isn’t installed =)

  • nick humphrey May 28, 2008, 6:49 am

    sudo apt-get install telnetd

  • dan October 2, 2008, 2:51 am

    I would like to run telnetd, but only
    on one ethernet interface (so that telnet
    will be refused on every other interface).

    Is there any advice on how to do this,
    or hidden pitfalls? (Apart of course
    from running telnet at all. But there’s
    one network which i think is safe.)

  • Nikolaj December 30, 2008, 6:32 pm

    hmm, I can’t connect to anything :O it’s just saying “Trying [ip_adress]…”
    after that, I get a timeout :/

  • ahti kare October 23, 2009, 8:53 pm

    It works!

  • surely January 3, 2010, 5:53 am

    Thank YOU

  • Oliver Luvian March 29, 2010, 7:01 pm

    Gracias amigo, me saco de apuros

    Thank You :-)

  • gfun June 8, 2010, 7:30 am

    Thank you man
    you’re the best

  • Suspense September 8, 2010, 6:43 am

    It really works… thanks a lot dude.. I’m trying this from a month ago and it was not working.
    It was really a great…. thanks once again.

  • Rajeev April 25, 2011, 8:49 am

    while trying this command : sudo /etc/init.d/openbsd-inetd restart
    I got this message:
    * Restarting internet superserver inetd
    * Not starting internet superserver: no services enabled

    However I have installed the telnetd successfully by using this command:
    sudo apt-get install inetutils-telnetd

  • Parul September 23, 2011, 4:52 am

    I ran following two commands on my laptop running edubantu
    $ sudo apt-get install telnetd
    $ sudo /etc/init.d/openbsd-inetd restart

    Then I went to my Windows XP laptop and tried to ping/telnet the edubantu IP address but it does not recognize that.
    Am I missing some thing.


  • shrek November 18, 2011, 6:38 pm

    thanks . I was searching for it.

  • qubik February 13, 2012, 9:13 pm

    Muy util, me ha servido de maravilla. Muchas gracias! :)

  • Awais Shah October 11, 2012, 7:35 am

    Thnx buddy… it helped me… thats the nice one… :)

  • plaa plaa April 22, 2014, 12:12 pm

    worked also on ubuntu 14.04 lts server, thanks

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