I have just installed FreeBSD 8.1 as a VMWare host and can establish ipv4 connectivity to the instance and telnet through the virtual console. I have also uncommented the /etc/inetd.conf lines

telnet  stream  tcp nowait  root    /usr/libexec/telnetd    telnetd
telnet  stream  tcp6    nowait  root    /usr/libexec/telnetd    telnetd

When I login without telnet via new virtual console terminals with login: root and password the default of empty, the login is accepted.

However, when I login remotely via telnet, I am prompted exactly the same as before, except for an additional first line that reads (freebsd.westell.com) (pts/0). I use the same login of root as before but get login incorrect message. What is missing here to successfully login to a telnet session?

For example, root is the only user currently, am I missing adduser?

Alternatively, if someone can show how to configure SSH and login remotely on FreeBSD 8.1, in < 5 easy steps which spell out exactly which configuration files and lines need to be edited, I'll take that. I haven't found this in their documentation.

  • Don't do this. Just because the first answer didn't satisfy you is no reason to vandalize your own question. Don't be so impatient! – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Apr 11 '13 at 23:40
  • @Gilles maybe you're right, but I am no network or UNIX engineer and with all the UNIX gurus here I find it surprising that I have only received 1 answer to a seemingly basic question. Is this not in some tutorial or documentation page I missed? – T. Webster Apr 11 '13 at 23:59
  • it appears to have something to do with nonexistence of /dev/vtyp0, but the file can't be created anyway. – T. Webster Apr 12 '13 at 0:26

Check the file /etc/ttys which contains list of terminals. Only those marked "secure" will allow root to login. By default this is the console and all virtual terminals. Pseudo terminals do not allow root login.

Also, in this day and age, where security is a big concern, may I ask why you are still using an unsecure protocol like telnet and not ssh ?

(edit) thanks to James, I realized I glossed over the FreeBSD and suggested the solution I always used and took for granted on Linux. Unless you have the PAM security add-on's enabled, you will not have this file. Instead, use the file mentioned by James on the answer above.

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  • I am building a practice lab environment to study for the CCNA, and the most versatile and lightweight OS I know of is FreeBSD. If there's an equivalent OS that's more user-friendly, please let me know since working with the FreeBSD terminal without the scrolling and copy-paste is really a hassle. – T. Webster Apr 11 '13 at 20:19
  • Any reason not to SSH to that FreeBSD server and then invoke su - toor ? – Hennes Apr 11 '13 at 21:19
  • @Hennes I was unaware of toor command. I am running telnet from Windwos. – T. Webster Apr 11 '13 at 23:30
  • I have 5 in /etc/securetity, audit_class, audit_control, audit_event, audit_user, audit_warn. There is no /etc/securetty on my FreeBSD installation. – T. Webster Apr 11 '13 at 23:37
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    Please see the modified answer above. Also, ssh vs. telnet discusssion: please don't dismiss the ssh sughgestions. Even when you are learning, it is best to do the learning, with tools used in the professional world instead of learning in vacuum. And setup of ssh is not a big matter after all. – MelBurslan Apr 12 '13 at 6:50

First of all, don't use telnetd, FreeBSD has sshd out-of-the-box and it's easy to enable it (paragraph 15.10.2 gives you 2 simple steps). Root login by default disabled in sshd for security reasons, but if you just building testing environment, not facing outer world, you can enable it with PermitRootLogin yes in /etc/ssh/sshd_config.

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