Networking

Activate Telnet from the GUI or the command line in Windows Server 2003

You can manage most Windows Server 2003 functions through the use of Telnet. Here's how to activate Telnet.

Thanks to the addition of a good Telnet server and a major expansion of Windows' command-line functionality, you can manage most Windows Server 2003 functions through the use of Telnet. Telnet is a program that provides text-based access to the command line of a server.

Telnet has been available on UNIX servers for years, but the more protected Secure Shell (SSH) has largely supplanted it. However, if you want a remote command-line option for your Windows server and you're working in a relatively secure environment, Telnet can fit the bill.


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There are two available methods to activate Windows' Telnet Server: via the GUI or the command line.

To activate Telnet via the GUI, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Start | Control Panel.
  2. Open the Administrative Tools folder, and open the Services applet.
  3. Right-click the Telnet service, and select Properties.
  4. In the Properties dialog box, select Automatic from the Startup Type drop-down list, and click Apply.
  5. Right-click the Telnet service, select Start, and click OK.

To activate Telnet from the command line, enter the following at the command prompt when logged in as administrator:

sc config TlntSvr start=auto
sc start TlntSvr

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