| T e l n e t E x p l a i n e d |
Mar 24 1999
Written by [warlock]
Legion of Magic
This text is for informational and educational purposes only.
This text was designed to help non technically-oriented users understand telnet clients
and how they work. From day to day I am asked 'How do I use telnet?????' by lamers who
cannot be bothered to RTFM/help file/readme.
It is recomended you read all of this text before using telnet
It is also recommended that you read this in Netscape Navigator(better text layout)
1. Brain or other reasonably fast logical thought/deduction and information storage device
2. Telnet client
- Ewan (highly recommended)
or - Telnet (Convenient because it comes with windows, lacks features though)
I will describe the Windows telnet client, then Ewan.
What is telnet?
A terminal emulation program (telnet emulates crusty old puters, like the Digital VT-100 and
VT-102, for example) for TCP/IP networks such as the Internet. The Telnet client runs on your
computer and connects your PC to a server on the network. You can then enter commands through
the Telnet program and they will be executed as if you were entering them directly on the server
console. This enables you to control the server and communicate with other servers on
the network. To start a telnet session, you must connect to a server on an open port and (usually) enter a login and password.
How to use windows telnet:
The windows telnet client can be found in the windows directory
(don't confuse this with HyperTerminal)
Open it and once loaded you will now be staring at a blank window.
(if the interface looks boring enough to make you want to quit, then remember that before the
days of graphical client programs like email/news clients, web browsers etc etc, telnet was the
only window into the internet.)
Now, click on 'Connect' in the menu bar, then 'Remote System'
You will then be presented with a dialog box that looks like this:
|Connect ________________ |
|Hostname :|________________| |
|Port :|________________| |
|Term type:|________________| |
| ___________ __________ |
|| | | ||
|| Connect | | Cancel ||
A good place for your first telnet connection is your shell account. A shell account is
basically a Unix terminal. If you have a shell account (or just 'shell') then you can run
apps on the shell and other kewl stuff. To find out if you have a shell account and its URL,
check out your ISP's webpage or email the system administrator.
Or, you can try telnetting to an FTP server. Any ISP worth their salt should have an FTP server.
This is the telnet equivalent of using an FTP client or web browser to browse an FTP archive.
In the 'Connect' field, type
(substitute your ISP's domain for 'foobarisp.com'. If my ISP's website was at www.abc.com,
my domain would be abc.com, i.e. my ISP's web URL, but without the 'www.'
In the 'Port' dialog, type the number 21. FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is bound to port 21.
Now click connect.
Once connected, you will presented with a screen like this:
|220 proFTPD |
You will see a prompt like the one above. This prompt indicates the daemon (and often version.)
A daemon (pronounced 'demon') is a program that runs on a remote computer and manages a
particular service, i.e. the FTP daemon controls connections to the FTP port and generally
manages the FTP side of things. The mail daemon, like 'sendmail' for instance, manages things
when you send an email and so forth.
Ok, so at the prompt, type:
(but, if it already has a prompt saying something like 'Username' or 'Login', drop the 'user' and
type just anonymous, without the 'user' bit.)
After it says "guest login accepted yada yada", type:
pass [email protected]
(once again, if it comes up with a 'Password:' prompt, drop the 'pass' bit and enter only your
It will then display some more trivia. Now you've logged in, type:
This will display all the different commands the FTP server understands. Play around with
Once you've finished playing around with port 21, try a few different ports, like
the ones listed below. Your ISP may not offer all of these services, but have a go and use some
common sense (i.e. i wouldn't try to connect to port 21 on my mail server, nor would I try to
connect to port 25 on my FTP server.)
Also, try telnetting to some puters outside of your ISP, like some anonymous FTP sites.
FTP - 21 (explained in detail already)
telnet - 23 (the default telnet port. This is used for system admin.)
Mail - 25 (this port is for sendmail, the unix mail-sending daemon)
time - 37 (the mind boggles at what this could possibly be)
Finger - 79 (used for 'fingering' email accounts, which gives you info on people who
have email accounts on that puter)
HTTP - 80 (the mind boggles)
POP3 - 110 (the port in charge of the daemon to receive mail.
Contrast this with 25, the port for the sending-mail daemon.
Don't confuse the two.)
News - 119 (the port in charge of the news daemon. If you don't know what
newsgroups are then I really don't know why you're reading
Now you have some ports to connect to, I'll move on to Ewan.
Open Ewan and you will presented with a box that looks like this:
|_Connect to Site_______________________________|
| ______________________________ ________ |
|| | |__ok ___| |
|| | ________ |
|| | |_cancel_| |
|| | |
|| | ________ |
|| | |__New___| |
|| | |_Delete_| |
|| | |__Edit__| |
|| | |
|| | ________ |
||______________________________| |__Help__| |
| () Private site list |
| () Shared site list |
Click 'New' and you will be presented with this dialog:
| Name_____________________ | _______ |
| |_________________________| ||__Ok___||
| Network address__________ | _______ |
| |_________________________| ||Cancel_||
| Service or port | |
| () Telnet ____________ | |
| () Custom |____________| | |
| Configuration | _______ |
| __________________________ ||_ Help_||
||__________________________| | |
In the 'Name' field, enter the name of the session ('Foobar.com FTP site', 'Shell Account' etc etc.
Then, in the 'Network address' field, enter the IP address or URL of the computer you want to
connect to (e.g. shell.foobarisp.com, 127.0.0.1, ftp.someftparchive.com, news.somedomain.com)
Click Custom then type the port number (port numbers above.) Then select a terminal emulation
type from the 'Configuration' field. Hit Ok, click on the session you've just created and you are using Ewan.
If ur a r1ch k1dd13 and own a Mac, try using NiftyTelnet (dead simple to use) or NCSA Telnet (very configurable.)
Find these telnet clients at TUCOWS or other software archive (www.tucows.com)
That's a basic intro to telnet, but that's all you need to know to get started. Have phun.
Shoutz to: J.C., wermboy(hey whats the weather like), LordPsYchO, Braxus,
ProtocolD(Thanx for info on Novell) , d4hp, XeXeN, kM and all the
others on #hackersclub who have taught me something.