GNU inetutils - The GNU Networking Utilities
The GNU Networking Utilities are the common networking utilities,
clients and servers of the GNU Operating System.
The individual utilities were originally derived from the 4.4BSDLite2
distribution. Many features were integrated from NetBSD, OpenBSD,
FreeBSD and GNU/Linux.
The file `paths' contains a list of all paths used by programs in this
distribution, and rules to find values for them. To change a path
PATH_FOO, you may either tell configure, by using
`--with-path-foo=VALUE' (where VALUE may contain references to make
variables such as `$(bindir)'), or edit the `paths' file. See further
below for some important cases.
If you wish to build only the clients or only the servers, you may
wish to use the --disable-servers or --disable-clients options when
invoking `configure'. You can also use --enable-<program> or
--disable-<program> to control whether to build individual programs;
if you explicitly specify whether to build a program, that will
override the values specified by --disable-clients or
The GNU whois client reads a whois-servers file to figure out which
whois server to use. It won't always pick the best server;
whois.internic.net seems to know something about nic.ddn.mil, but the
GNU whois client will use nic.ddn.mil to look up nic.ddn.mil if you
use the configuration file we supply. Our configuration file probably
also does not have a complete list of whois servers; feel free to send
information about additional whois servers to the bug reporting
Notes on setuid-executables:
- All of the r* client commands, 'rcp', 'rlogin', 'rsh', used to need
to be installed as setuid root to work correctly, since they use
privileged ports for communication. However, some modern operating
systems now offer capabilities that avoid the need for setuid
settings, and this is accounted for in our present code.
CAP_NET_BIND_SERVICE and PRIV_NET_PRIVADDR are relevant for the
above three programs.
- Similarly, 'ping', 'ping6', and 'traceroute', used to depend on
setuid installation, but also these are now content with
capabilities like CAP_NET_RAW, PRIV_NET_ICMPACCESS, and
Notes on hard-coded file locations:
- Some of the buildable executables depend critically on hard-coded
file locations for correct execution. The most important, where
care is needed, are highlighted below.
- `ftpd' needs access to several configuration files, in order that
all use cases be covered. Both of PATH_FTPCHROOT and
PATH_FTPWELCOME are normally positioned correctly in sysconfdir by
default, whereas PATH_FTPUSERS usually is desired to state
`/etc/ftpusers', but not all systems manage this. Particular care
should be given to PATH_FTPLOGINMESG, since it defaults to
`/etc/motd', which cannot be claimed as universally ideal. A
sensible counter measure could be
This would, however, complicate matter for chrooted users, so a
minor variation on the default could be preferable:
Finally, the fall-back value `/etc/nologin' for PATH_NOLOGIN is in
effect for every systems lacking <paths.h>, but this sets the most
plausible location in any case.
- `rcp' relies on PATH_RSH for proper hand-over. Use the
configuration switch `--with-path-rsh=VALUE' for overriding the
detected value. It should point to the intended location of `rsh',
particularly when built with Kerberos support.
- Similarily, `rsh' needs PATH_RLOGIN to locate `rlogin' for correct
delegation. The switch `--with-path-rlogin=VALUE' may come handy
to ensure that `rsh' as well as `rlogin' offer identical Kerberos
Some known deficiencies:
- Non-Shishi Kerberos support does not build. Patches welcome.
- Shishi Kerberos support is only implemented for 'rcp', 'rlogin',
'rlogind', 'rsh', 'rshd', 'telnet', and 'telnetd'.
- Not all utilities are Kerberized even when built with Kerberos
libraries, including 'rcp' for non-Shishi Kerberos.
- InetUtils does not build on HP-UX 11.00, Cygwin, Minix, MinGW,
MSCV, BeOS, Haiki (and probably other systems as well). Patches
See the file INSTALL for installation instructions.
Please send all bug reports to <email@example.com>.
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