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HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

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inetd.conf — configuration file for inetd


On invocation, the inetd daemon reads its configuration information from the /etc/inetd.conf configuration file, and possibly at some later time in response to a SIGHUP signal (see inetd(1M)).

Each line in the file is treated either as a comment or as configuration information for a given service Comments are denoted by a # at the beginning of a line. Noncomment lines contain seven or nine required fields, depending on the service name specified in the first field. Fields are separated by tabs and/or spaces. A line can be continued if it terminates with a \. Each configuration line in the file contains the following fields in the order indicated:

  • service name

  • socket type

  • protocol

  • wait|swait|nowait

  • user

  • server program

  • program number (NFS RPC services only)

  • version number (NFS RPC services only)

  • server program arguments

Fields are constructed as follows:

service name

rpc if the server is RPC-based (NFS); otherwise, the name of a valid service in file /etc/services. For example, shell for the remsh service (see remsh(1)), login for the rlogin service (see rlogin(1)), and telnet for the telnet service (see telnet(1)).

socket type

stream, dgram, or xti, depending on whether the server socket is a stream or a datagram socket, or intended for a program built using the XTI API.


Must be a valid protocol as given in /etc/protocols; for example, tcp or udp. For an XTI service, the protocol field is treated as:

  • A network_ID for an RPC service, (see netconfig(4)).

  • A device name in the /dev directory for a non-RPC service. For example, if tcp is specified, the path /dev/tcp will be used.

For IPv6 applications the protocol is specified as either tcp6 or udp6.


Specifies whether inetd should act as a single- or multi-threaded server.


Instructs inetd to start one server to handle an incoming request, and cease listening for new requests for the same service until the server that started has exited.


Same as wait, but instructs inetd to expect the server to accept the incoming request.


Instructs inetd to start one server for each incoming request.

Most UDP-based services use wait for this field, while TCP-based services use nowait.


User ID to be used when the server is running.

server program

Absolute path name of the program executed by inetd when it finds a request on the server's socket.

server program arguments

Arguments to the server program. The same as in normal use, starting with argv[0], which is the name of the program.

If service name is rpc (NFS RPC services), two extra fields are required. They must appear between the server program field and the server program arguments field:

program number

Defines a particular service grouping and is unique.

version number

Version supported by the RPC service. This number can be a single value, or a range, if the program handles multiple versions; for example, 1 or 1-3. Ranges are separated by a hyphen (-). Version numbers allow RPC protocols to be extended and modified, and make it possible for old and new protocols to share the same server process.

Built-in inetd Services

The inetd daemon provides several "trivial" services internally by use of built-in routines (see inetd(1M) for a list of these services). To configure an internal service, specify internal as the server program name, and omit the server program arguments field.


Configure the shell service to use TCP protocol, and run the server remshd as user root.

shell stream tcp nowait root /usr/lbin/remshd remshd

The above is an example of the remsh utility run in the IPv4 mode. To run the above utility in the IPv6 mode, the protocol tcp must be changed to tcp6. Thus the above configuration is re-written as below to run in IPv6 mode.

shell stream tcp6 nowait root /usr/lbin/remshd remshd

Configure the FTP server to timeout an inactive session after 75 seconds.

ftp stream tcp nowait root /usr/lbin/ftpd ftpd -t75

The above ftp service can be run in IPv6 mode using the configuration shown below:

ftp stream tcp6 nowait root /usr/lbin/ftpd ftpd -t75

Configure an RPC-based service. Note that the service name field contains rpc and two more fields are used: the program number (100008) and version number (1).

rpc dgram udp wait root /usr/lib/netsvc/rwall/rpc.rwalld 100008 1 rpc.rwalld

Configure inetd to use the built-in daytime TCP service.

daytime stream tcp nowait root internal


inetd.conf was developed by the University of California, Berkeley.

NFS was developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc.

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