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TELNET is the traditional protocol for making remote console connections over TCP. TELNET is not secure, and is mainly used to connect to legacy equipment now days.

Follow these instructions to configure an Arch Linux machine as a telnet server.


To only use telnet to connect to other machines, install netkit-telnet:

# pacman -S netkit-telnet

To also configure a telnet server, install xinetd as well:

# pacman -S xinetd netkit-telnet
  • Important, "Telnetd is evil legacy code and is not trustworthy - do not run it unless you absolutely need it." a quote from the netkit-telnet readme.

A better option when needing a telnet server, is to install telnet-bsd from AUR instead of netkit-telnet (which also has support for IPv6).


1. To allow telnet connections in xinetd:

# vi /etc/xinetd.d/telnet

Change 'disable' from 'yes' to 'no'

2. To allow telnet connections to your machine, add the following to /etc/hosts.allow:

in.telnetd: ALL

3. Add xinetd to the "DAEMONS" section of your /etc/rc.conf file.

DAEMONS=(syslog-ng network netfs crond ............ xinetd)

4. Reboot or restart xinetd:

# /etc/rc.d/xinetd restart

Testing the setup

Try opening a telnet connection to your server:

$ telnet localhost

Note that you can not login as root (to either netkit or bsd telnet).