Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Enabling remote telnet access to your phone

I was messing with busybox on my Droid X the other day using the tiny android gingebread keyboard, and started wondering "dang, i'm making too many typos and this is really a pain".  So I decided to enable telnetd so I can telnet in from my macbook and use my gigantic keyboard.   Here's how you do it:

  1. get on a secure wifi network (well you don't have to but you'd want to - trust me)
  2. run Terminal from your phone
  3. type "telnetd -l /system/bin/sh"
  4. obtain your phone's IP address from android settings
  5. run terminal software from your laptop/desktop
  6. telnet to the ip address
  7. when you're done, kill telnetd: "pkill telnetd"
Voila!  Now you can hack away without having to use the phone keyboard, or connect it to your PC via USB.

 [insert extremely satisfied happy face here]

UPDATE: Be sure to read my followup post here!


  1. What version of Busybox are you running? The one that came with Liberty (at least on my X) does not have telnetd.


    1. Great Article android based projects

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  2. Hi maxpower! 1.17.1 is what I'm currently running.

  3. this is great, thank you for this

  4. how can i pass telnet commands to my device ?
    ex: gsm call 879798798

    In emulator , this works fine. i'm getting call, sms by telnet commands. but how pass my telnet commands to my own device ?
    somebody please guide me !