Network Administration: Linux xinetd.conf File

Xinetd is a service that oversees a variety of networking services, such as Telnet or Finger. Xinetd listens for requests on the ports on which these services talk and automatically starts the service when a connection is made. Xinetd is controlled by the configuration file xinetd.conf, which is found in the /etc directory, and each of the services controlled by xinetd is in turn controlled by a configuration file found in the /etc/xinet.d directory.

You should leave most of the settings in these configuration files alone unless you’ve studied up on xinetd. (You can find out more about it at xinetd.) However, you may want to modify the configuration files in order to enable or disable specific services.

Each of the services controlled by xinetd has a configuration file in the /etc/xinet.d directory. Each of these configuration files ends with a line that enables or disables the service. For example, here’s the configuration file for Telnet, /etc/xinet.d/telnet:

# default: on
# description: The telnet server serves telnet sessions; it uses 
#     unencrypted username/password pairs for authentication.
service telnet
    Flags           = REUSE
    socket_type     = stream
    wait            = no
    user            = root
    server          = /usr/sbin/in.telnetd
    log_on_failure  += USERID
    disable         = yes

Here, the last line disables Telnet. You can enable the Telnet service by changing the last line to disable = no.