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Configuring Telnet/FTP to login as root (Linux)

Posted by Taufiq Rohman Saturday, October 1, 2011
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Red Hat Enterprise Linux: RHEL3 / RHEL4

Enabling Telnet and FTP Services

Linux is configured to run the Telnet and FTP server, but by default, these services are not enabled. To enable the telnet service, login to the server as the root user account and run the following commands:

      # chkconfig telnet on
# service xinetd reload
Reloading configuration: [ OK ]

Starting with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0 release (and in CentOS Enterprise Linux), the FTP server (wu-ftpd) is no longer available with xinetd. It has been replaced with vsftp and can be started from /etc/init.d/vsftpd as in the following:

      # /etc/init.d/vsftpd start
Starting vsftpd for vsftpd: [ OK ]


If you want the vsftpd service to start and stop when recycling (rebooting) the machine, you can create the following symbolic links:

      # ln -s /etc/init.d/vsftpd /etc/rc3.d/S56vsftpd
# ln -s /etc/init.d/vsftpd /etc/rc4.d/S56vsftpd
# ln -s /etc/init.d/vsftpd /etc/rc5.d/S56vsftpd



Allowing Root Logins to Telnet and FTP Services

Now before getting into the details of how to configure Red Hat Linux for root logins, keep in mind that this is VERY BAD security. Make sure that you NEVER configure your production servers for this type of login.

Configure Telnet for root logins

Simply edit the file /etc/securetty and add the following to the end of the file:

pts/0
pts/1
pts/2
pts/3
pts/4
pts/5
pts/6
pts/7
pts/8
pts/9

This will allow up to 10 telnet sessions to the server as root.


Configure FTP for root logins

Edit the files /etc/vsftpd.ftpusers and /etc/vsftpd.user_list and remove the 'root' line from each file.



Red Hat (Fedora Core 1 / Core 2)

Enabling Telnet and FTP Services

Linux is configured to run the Telnet and FTP server, but by default, these services are not enabled. To enable the telnet these service, login to the server as the root userid and edit the files:

          /etc/xinetd.d/telnet


In this file, find the line for disable and change it from the value "yes" to "no".

After changing the above value(s), you will need to restart the xinetd deamon. As the root userid, type the following command:

         % /etc/init.d/xinetd reload


Starting with the Fedora Core 1 release, the FTP server (wu-ftpd) is no longer available with xinetd. It has been replaced with vsftp and can be started from /etc/init.d/vsftpd as in the following:

       # /etc/init.d/vsftpd start


If you want the vsftpd service to start and stop when recycling the machine, you can create the following symbolic links:

      # ln -s /etc/init.d/vsftpd /etc/rc3.d/S56vsftpd
# ln -s /etc/init.d/vsftpd /etc/rc4.d/S56vsftpd
# ln -s /etc/init.d/vsftpd /etc/rc5.d/S56vsftpd


Allowing Root Logins to Telnet and FTP Services

Now before getting into the details of how to configure Red Hat Linux for root logins, keep in mind that this is VERY BAD security. Make sure that you NEVER configure your production servers for this type of login.

Configure Telnet for root logins

Simply edit the file /etc/securetty and add the following to the end of the file:

pts/0
pts/1
pts/2
pts/3
pts/4
pts/5
pts/6
pts/7
pts/8
pts/9

This will allow up to 10 telnet sessions to the server as root.


Configure FTP for root logins

Edit the files /etc/vsftpd.ftpusers and /etc/vsftpd.user_list and remove the 'root' line from each file.



Red Hat (Release 7.x - 8.x)

Enabling Telnet and FTP Services

Linux is configured to run the Telnet and FTP server, but by default, these services are not enabled. To enable these services, login to the server as the root userid and edit the files:

          /etc/xinetd.d/telnet
/etc/xinetd.d/wu-ftpd


In both files, find the line for disable and change it from the value "yes" to "no".

After changing the above values, you will need to restart the xinetd deamon. As the root userid, type the following command:

         % /etc/init.d/xinetd reload


Allowing Root Logins to Telnet and FTP Services

Now before getting into the details of how to configure Red Hat Linux for root logins, keep in mind that this is VERY BAD security. Make sure that you NEVER configure your production servers for this type of login.

Configure Telnet for root logins

Simply edit the file /etc/securetty and add the following to the end of the file:

pts/0
pts/1
pts/2
pts/3
pts/4
pts/5
pts/6
pts/7
pts/8
pts/9

This will allow up to 10 telnet sessions to the server as root.


Configure FTP for root logins

First edit the file /etc/ftpaccess and comment out the 'deny-uid' and 'deny-gid' lines.


Also, don't forget to remove the 'root' line from /etc/ftpusers

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