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Internet super-server (UNIX)

Note: You must be root to start this daemon.


inetd [-Dd] [configuration_file]

Runs on:



Force inetd to daemonize by calling procmgr_daemon() instead of calling daemon().

Note: You need to specify the -D option to inetd if you're running it under the control of the High Availability Manager. The HAM can see death messages only from tasks that are running in session 1, and the call to daemon() doesn't put the caller into that session. For more information about HAM, see the High Availability Framework Developer's Guide.

Turn on debugging.


The inetd daemon listens for connections on certain well-known ports. When it finds a connection on one of its sockets, the daemon decides what service the socket corresponds to and invokes a program to service the request. After that program is finished, inetd continues to listen on the socket (except in some cases, described below). Essentially, inetd lets you run one daemon to invoke several others, reducing load on the system.

When it starts, inetd reads its configuration information from a configuration file; by default, this is /etc/inetd.conf.

Internal services

The inetd daemon provides several “trivial” services internally by using routines within itself. These services are:

Echo the data received.
Discard the data received.
Generate characters.
Human-readable time.
Machine-readable time, in the form of the number of seconds since midnight, January 1, 1900.

All of these services are UDP- or TCP-based.

Effects of SIGHUP

When it receives SIGHUP, inetd rereads its configuration file, which may cause services to be added, deleted, or modified.


The inetd daemon requires the shared library.

If you use RPC-based services, the shared library must exist.

See also:

ftpd, /etc/inetd.conf, rlogind, rshd, telnetd, tftpd

TCP/IP Networking in the Neutrino User's Guide