How To Telnet In Linux

Whether you’re an experienced network administrator or a Linux enthusiast exploring new horizons, the use of Telnet is fundamental in the world of networking. Telnet, or ‘teletype network’, is a protocol used on the Internet or local area networks to provide a bidirectional interactive text-oriented communication facility.

In this blog, we will walk you through the simple steps on how to use Telnet in a Linux environment. Before we dive in, ensure that you have administrative rights or root access to install packages on your Linux machine.

Step 1: Install Telnet

Let’s start by installing Telnet. Most Linux distributions come with Telnet by default. However, if yours doesn’t, you can install it using the package manager for your distribution.

On Debian or Ubuntu, you can use the following command:

sudo apt-get install telnet

For Fedora, CentOS, or RHEL, use:

sudo yum install telnet

Step 2: Connect to a Telnet Server

Once Telnet is installed, you can initiate a Telnet session. The syntax for the Telnet command is:

telnet hostname_or_IP port

hostname_or_IP refers to the server you would like to connect to, and port refers to the port number you’re trying to connect to.

Step 3: Using Telnet Commands

After successfully connecting to the server, you can start using Telnet commands. Here are a few basic commands you might find handy:

  • open: To open a new connection.
  • close: To close an existing connection.
  • quit: To quit from the Telnet prompt.
  • display: To display operating parameters.

Step 4: Exiting Telnet

To exit Telnet, simply use the quit command.


Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand how to use Telnet in Linux. Remember, while Telnet is a powerful tool, it is not secure for transmitting sensitive data, as it is not encrypted. Therefore, consider using SSH (Secure Shell) for a more secure alternative.