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Telnet: network protocol for text-oriented communication

Last Edit: 10/01/17

Telnet is a protocol suite (for computer networks) that is compatible with TCP/IP (the Internet), and can be used over LAN's and other computer networks. Telnet is suitable for creating a connection with a remote machine, and provides text-based communication.

Telnet can be viewed as a ASCII character based terminal, and can handle the remote access to a variety of Internet services. The Telnet protocol has been implemented on a variety of systems. Each system is different: so specific commands depend upon the system is question. However, most Telnet installations function in a similar fashion.

Telnet operates in a client/server environment in which one host (the computer you are using, running Client (User) Telnet) negotiates the opening of a session on another computer (the remote host, running Server Telnet). During the behind-the-scenes negotiation process, the two computers agree on the parameters governing the session.

One of the first things they settle on is the terminal type to be used - in general, a 'line by line' network virtual terminal, for simplicity's sake. A virtual terminal, in this context, refers to a set of terminal characteristics and sequences that both sides of a network connection agree to use; to transmit data from terminals across the network, regardless of the terminal used.

Using Telnet

The commands for negotiating a telnet connection varies from system to system. The most common is telnet itself, though. The most common command is for telnet itself,

If you know your site domain name you open the connection, by typing,

If the system were yahoo.cs.berkeley.edu, for example, the command would look like

The responce from the system would be something similar to,

The "^]" command is the character which allows you back to the local system or for closing the connection.