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How To Enable Or Disable Telnet Server On Red Hat Linux?

As the legacy remote access protocol does not support encryption, most system administrators and IT security experts in favor of suggestion to disable telnet service and replace it secure remote access protocol such as SSH.

Assume the telnet server already installed on RHEL 5.2, these are the steps to start or stop telnet daemon:

Disable / stop telnet

Login to Linux command prompt with root user ID and execute this:
chkconfig telnet off

To confirm the telnet daemon has stopped immediately, just execute one of these three commands:
netstat -tulpan | grep 23
chkconfig --list | grep telnet

Enable / start telnet

If for some reasons that you have to temporarily enable telnet server:
Telnet is one of the many legacy UNIX/Linux-based Internet services that are monitored and started by xinetd (super server). Thus, the super server must be enabled and running in order for telnet server to function.

1) Login to Linux command prompt with root user ID and run this command to check if xinetd service is running:
service xinetd status

2) Start xinetd daemon if it is not running:
service xinetd start

If you prefer xinetd to start and run on runlevel 3, 4, and 5 after each server reboot:
chkconfig --level 345 xinetd on

3) Start the telnet server by executing this:
chkconfig telnet on

Now, you should able to access the host via telnet protocol again. Good luck.

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