man inetd (Administration système) - inetd


inetd - internet


inetd [-d] [-l] [-R rate] [configuration file]



should be run at boot time by /etc/rc (see rc(8) ) . It then listens for connections on certain internet sockets. When a connection is found on one of its sockets, it decides what service the socket corresponds to, and invokes a program to service the request. After the program is finished, it continues to listen on the socket (except in some cases which will be described below). Essentially, inetd allows running one daemon to invoke several others, reducing load on the system.

The options are as follows:

Turns on debugging.
Turns on libwrap connection logging. Internal services cannot be wrapped. When enabled, /usr/sbin/tcpd is silently not executed even if present in /etc/inetd.conf .
-R rate
Specify the maximum number of times a service can be invoked in one minute; the default is 256.

Upon execution, inetd reads its configuration information from a configuration file which, by default, is /etc/inetd.conf . There must be an entry for each field of the configuration file, with entries for each field separated by a tab or a space. Comments are denoted by a at the beginning of a line. The fields of the configuration file are as follows:

service name socket type protocol[,sndbuf=size][,rcvbuf=size] wait/nowait[.max] user[.group] or user[:group] server program server program arguments

To specify a Sun-RPC based service, the entry would contain these fields.

service name/version socket type rpc/protocol[,sndbuf=size][,rcvbuf=size] wait/nowait[.max] user[.group] or user[:group] server program server program arguments

For internet services, the first field of the line may also have a host address specifier prefixed to it, separated from the service name by a colon. If this is done, the string before the colon in the first field indicates what local address should use when listening for that service. Multiple local addresses can be specified on the same line, separated by commas. Numeric IP addresses in dotted-quad notation can be used as well as symbolic hostnames. Symbolic hostnames are looked up using gethostbyname . If a hostname has multiple address mappings, inetd creates a socket to listen on each address.

The single character indicates INADDR_ANY , meaning To avoid repeating an address that occurs frequently, a line with a host address specifier and colon, but no further fields, causes the host address specifier to be remembered and used for all further lines with no explicit host specifier (until another such line or the end of the file). A line is implicitly provided at the top of the file; thus, traditional configuration files (which have no host address specifiers) will be interpreted in the traditional manner, with all services listened for on all local addresses. If the protocol is this value is ignored.

The entry is the name of a valid service in the file /etc/services . For services (discussed below), the service name be the official name of the service (that is, the first entry in /etc/services ) . When used to specify a Sun-RPC based service, this field is a valid RPC service name in the file /etc/rpc . The part on the right of the is the RPC version number. This can simply be a single numeric argument or a range of versions. A range is bounded by the low version to the high version - For domain sockets this field specifies the path name of the socket.

The should be one of or depending on whether the socket is a stream, datagram, raw, reliably delivered message, or sequenced packet socket.

The must be a valid protocol as given in /etc/protocols . Examples might be or RPC based services are specified with the or service type. and will be recognized as This is currently IPv4, but in the future it will be IPv6. If you need to specify IPv4 or IPv6 explicitly, use something like or A of is used to specify a socket in the domain.

In addition to the protocol, the configuration file may specify the send and receive socket buffer sizes for the listening socket. This is especially useful for TCP as the window scale factor, which is based on the receive socket buffer size, is advertised when the connection handshake occurs, thus the socket buffer size for the server must be set on the listen socket. By increasing the socket buffer sizes, better TCP performance may be realized in some situations. The socket buffer sizes are specified by appending their values to the protocol specification as follows: tcp,rcvbuf=16384 tcp,sndbuf=64k tcp,rcvbuf=64k,sndbuf=1m

A literal value may be specified, or modified using to indicate kilobytes or to indicate megabytes.

The entry is used to tell if it should wait for the server program to return, or continue processing connections on the socket. If a datagram server connects to its peer, freeing the socket so inetd can receive further messages on the socket, it is said to be a server, and should use the entry. For datagram servers which process all incoming datagrams on a socket and eventually time out, the server is said to be and should use a entry. comsat() and talkd() are both examples of the latter type of datagram server. tftpd() is an exception; it is a datagram server that establishes pseudo-connections. It must be listed as in order to avoid a race; the server reads the first packet, creates a new socket, and then forks and exits to allow inetd to check for new service requests to spawn new servers. The optional suffix (separated from or by a dot) specifies the maximum number of server instances that may be spawned from inetd within an interval of 60 seconds. When omitted, defaults to 256.

Stream servers are usually marked as but if a single server process is to handle multiple connections, it may be marked as The master socket will then be passed as fd 0 to the server, which will then need to accept the incoming connection. The server should eventually time out and exit when no more connections are active. will continue to listen on the master socket for connections, so the server should not close it when it exits.

The entry should contain the user name of the user as whom the server should run. This allows for servers to be given less permission than root. An optional group name can be specified by appending a dot to the user name followed by the group name. This allows for servers to run with a different (primary) group ID than specified in the password file. If a group is specified and user is not root, the supplementary groups associated with that user will still be set.

The entry should contain the pathname of the program which is to be executed by inetd when a request is found on its socket. If inetd provides this service internally, this entry should be

The should be just as arguments normally are, starting with argv[0], which is the name of the program. If the service is provided internally, the word should take the place of this entry.

inetd provides several services internally by use of routines within itself. These services are (character generator), (human readable time), and (machine readable time, in the form of the number of seconds since midnight, January 1, 1900). All of these services are TCP based. For details of these services, consult the appropriate RFC from the Network Information Center.

inetd rereads its configuration file when it receives a hangup signal, SIGHUP . Services may be added, deleted or modified when the configuration file is reread. inetd creates a file that contains its process identifier.


Support for TCP wrappers is included with to provide built-in tcpd-like access control functionality. An external tcpd program is not needed. You do not need to change the /etc/inetd.conf server-program entry to enable this capability. uses /etc/hosts.allow and /etc/hosts.deny for access control facility configurations, as described in hosts_access(5) .

IPv6 TCP/UDP behavior

If you wish to run a server for IPv4 and IPv6 traffic, you'll need to run two separate processes for the same server program, specified as two separate lines in inetd.conf , for and

Under various combinations of IPv4/v6 daemon settings, will behave as follows:

If you have only one server on IPv4 traffic will be routed to the server. IPv6 traffic will not be accepted.
If you have two servers on and IPv4 traffic will be routed to the server on and IPv6 traffic will go to server on
If you have only one server on only IPv6 traffic will be routed to the server. The special parameter can be used for obsolete servers which require to receive IPv4 connections mapped in an IPv6 socket. Its usage is discouraged.


fingerd(8) ,ftpd(8) ,identd(8) ,rshd(8) ,talkd(8) ,telnetd(8) ,tftpd()


The command appeared in Support for Sun-RPC based services is modelled after that provided by SunOS 4.1. IPv6 support was added by the KAME project in 1999.

Marco d'Itri ported this code from OpenBSD in summer 2002 and added socket buffers tuning and libwrap support from the NetBSD source tree.


On Linux systems, the daemon cannot reload its configuration and needs to be restarted when the host address for a service is changed between and a specific address.

Host address specifiers, while they make conceptual sense for RPC services, do not work entirely correctly. This is largely because the portmapper interface does not provide a way to register different ports for the same service on different local addresses. Provided you never have more than one entry for a given RPC service, everything should work correctly. (Note that default host address specifiers do apply to RPC lines with no explicit specifier.)

on IPv6 is not tested enough. Kerberos support on IPv6 is not tested.