Way to Get Telnet for MacOS in Mojave or High Sierra

MacOS in Mojave Is there any need for to you use Telnet in macOS? Alright, many Mac users also have discovered that Telnet has been cleared from recent versions of the system software. However, adding macOS Mojave and macOS High Sierra. Apparently, this is to encourage simply by using the ssh client rather. But many Mac users are also there who need Telnet for a variety of causes. However, Telnet continues to be a valid tool for many systems and network administrators, security professionals, people functioning with Cisco hardware or towards Cisco certification, MUD enthusiasts, amongst many other purposes. In this guide there are Way to Get Telnet for MacOS in Mojave or High Sierra.

Appropriately this guide will detail many various ways in order to get Telnet back in modern versions of Mac OS system software. However, we’ll cover installing Telnet with Homebrew, restoring Telnet from a previous system software disclose or backup, compiling Telnet from source, as well as a few alternatives to telnet.

Simply this guide will assume that you have encounter working with the Terminal and also command line after all Telnet is entirely command-line based.

Installing Telnet in macOS with Homebrew

Undoubtedly the easiest option is for Mac users in order to install Telnet via Homebrew. Generally, this means that you will have to install Homebrew on the Mac first. But whether you are an advanced user that expends time in the command line. You will likely appreciate having Homebrew for other purposes since you

    • Firstly you have to install Homebrew on Mac OS whether you haven’t completed so already. Whether you already have Homebrew skip this step

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

    • Simply to use Homebrew in order to install telnet with the following command:

brew install telnet

    • Here you have to hit Return and allow Homebrew download and also install Telnet to the Mac
    • Similarly, when the installation has complete, you are also able to run Telnet as usual:

telnet server-or-ip-address

However, the just simple way in order to test that Telnet is functioning properly after installation is to connect to the goofy Star Wars telnet server. Similarly, they are able to play Starr Wars in ASCII art:

telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl

Now you will know Telnet is functioning when you are greeted by Star Wars provide in ASCII characters (and yeah seriously, so it is the complete movie).MacOS in Mojave

Downloading Telnet in macOS Mojave & High Sierra through Previous MacOS Versions or Backups

Whether you occur in order to have access to a Mac that is running a previous version of macOS (Sierra or previous). Or you occur to have a previous macOS system software backup laying around from Time Machine. On the other hand, you can actually just copy the old binaries from that PC or backup to your modern macOS installation, and telnet will work just fine.

Similarly, with Mac OS and Mac OS X versions which add telnet. So you will find Telnet at the following location (consequently serving as a reference for where in order to find the binary in the backups:


The telnet binary is tiny weighing in at only 114 kb, so this is a quick simple task.

Adding macOS

However, copying that telnet binary into the following location in modern macOS discloses. Adding macOS Mojave 10.14 and macOS High Sierra 10.13.x, will permit telnet in order to run on the new system software releases:


Although at that point you are also able to run the ‘telnet’ command normally.

Another option that needs more caution is to request the telnet binary from a trusted coworker. Or a trusted friend who is running macOS Sierra previously. Although all they have to do is zip up. And send you their /user/bin/telnet binary file. So you do not try and find a random telnet binary zip file from the internet since it could be compromised or otherwise untrustworthy. It’d be a good idea to use the md5 hash. Or sha1 checksum on the real telnet binary whether you are going this way.

Whether you are depending on the binaries of telnet from Sierra or earlier. You probably also be interested in seizing ftp as well. That is also deleted from recent macOS discloses. But is located at the following location in previously MacOS builds:


Although again you would place the ftp binary into /usr/local/bin/ on recent versions of system software.

Similarly, for those pondering, whilst Telnet (and ftp) has been deleted from Mojave, High Sierra. And apparently, anything moving forward, macOS Sierra remains the last version of system software to add Telnet by default. Whilst any macOS / Mac OS X release previously to Sierra also adds Telnet and ftp. Adding El Capitan, Snow Leopard, Yosemite, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Tiger, Cheetah, etc.

Telnet Alternatives for Mac: SSH, Netcat

Definitely, some alternatives are there for Telnet, hanging on what you have to use telnet for in the first place.

For remote connections, ssh is the new standard as it is secured, and both the ssh server and ssh client are present by default in all new versions of macOS system software. Simply, connecting to a remote IP with ssh would look as follows:

ssh [email protected]

However, for simple testing of network connectivity, or for testing of an open / listening port. netcat is also often fulfilled the exact requirements that telnet provides. For instance, you are also able to make sure that the connection to the aforementioned ASCII Star Wars server. And port 80 works with the following netcat command string:

nc -vz towel.blinkenlights.nl 80

Keep in mind that netcat for this purpose needs to specify a valid TCP or UDP port number of whatever the host protocol is.

Restoring Telnet to macOS Mojave and High Sierra by Compiling Telnet from Source

Whether you do not like to use Homebrew for whatever cause. So then you are also able to compile Telnet yourself from inetutils source. Although as a requisite you will still have to install the Mac OS command-line tools can accomplish this, though.

In order to do that you would download the current inetutils package from gnu.org:

curl -o http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/inetutils/inetutils-1.9.4.tar.gz

Next, you’d decompress the tarsal:

tar xvzf inetutils-1.9.4.tar.gz

Now turn into the appropriate directory:

cd inetutils-1.9.4

Here provide the configure command to begin:



When configure is complete, make from source:


At last, you have to use make install in order to complete the installation of inetutils and telnet

sudo make install

Guys! I think using Homebrew is simpler plus many other perfect and useful Homebrew packages are there. Whether you are familiar with compiling from source and you are this far. So then you’ll nearly certainly appreciate having Homebrew anyway.

What about Telnet for iPad and iPhone? Telnet for iOS!

In order to cover all bases,  telnet clients are available there for iOS. However, how practical this is for you likely on your specific device and what your purpose with telnet is. But a free option for iOS is iTerminal and brillient paid option is Prompt. However, by using ssh and also telnet from an iOS device is also to be a challenge without an external keyboard, however, so you probably like to connect one to your iPhone or iPad before going that route. And realistically this is the best option for the iPad simply due to the big screen. iOS is not MacOS however, so this is kind of off-topic.

Also read: Way to Uninstall Homebrew from Mac OS


Well, that is much pretty comprehensive guide in order to get Telnet in new macOS releases. But whether you know of another procedure, or another approach in order get Telnet in macOS High Sierra or returning Telnet to macOS Mojave, so you can share with us in the comments section below.

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