Telnet It Like It Is

Telnet It Like It Is

Telnetting (in English, you can “verb” any word you want) involves no more than typing telnet and the name of the computer you want to log in to:

telnet pumpkin

UNIX tells you that it is making the connection and then gives the usual login prompt:

Connected to
Escape character is ‘^]’.
FreeBSD 4.8 (

At the login prompt, you type your username and then your password. After the other computer connects, you log in exactly as though you are sitting at the other computer. In the following example, we typed john1 as our username and then gave our secret password:

login: johnl
Last login: Thu Oct 3:03:58 from squash
FreeBSD 4.8-RELEASE (PUMPKIN) #0: Thu Jul 24 14:49:39 EDT 2003
Please confirm (or change) your terminal type.
TERM = (xterm

If the other computer asks you what type of terminal you’re using, give the answer appropriate to the terminal you’re using. (If you’re using an X terminal window, it’s xterm. Try VT-100, ANSI, or TTY if you’re using a dumb terminal or PC.)

The normal way to leave telnet is to log out from the other computer:


UNIX gives you the following message to tell you that the other computer has hung up the phone, so to speak:

Bye Bye
Connection closed by foreign host.

Sometimes the other computer is recalcitrant and doesn’t want to let you go. Remember that you’re in control. To force your way out, you first must get the attention of the telnet program by pressing Ctrl+] (that’s a right square bracket). A few versions of telnet use a different escape character to get telnet’s attention. (It tells you which character when you first connect to the other system.) After you get telnet’s attention, type quit to tell telnet to wrap things up and return to the shell:

telnet> quit

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