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ZXnet http server: Note N00034: telnetd on OpenBSD


Note Archive
Number: N00034
Created: 15 February 2011
Revised: 15 February 2011

For security reasons, telnetd was removed from the OpenBSD distrbution some time ago. This document describes how to get it back.

Two of my systems (a SPARCstation IPC and a SPARCstation IPX) are incapable of handling sshd. Trying to connect just drives CPU usage up to 100% and the client is likely to timeout before the server responds. As my network is fairly trustworthy (these boxen aren't directly attached to the net), they aren't running 24/7 and don't perform important functions a little insecurity isn't a major problem.

Getting the Source

The last version is available at Or you can get grab telnetd.tar.

Compiling and installing

To compile just run make and then make install. This puts the man pages in the right location but for some reason dumps the telnetd binary in the root directory. Move it from there to /usr/libexec.

inetd Setup

Add the following line to /etc/inetd.conf and then run the inetd command to refresh the configuration:

telnet    stream  tcp    nowait  root    /usr/libexec/telnetd     telnetd
And then it should be working. In theory. I'm no expert. This will probably explode your computer.