I am attempting to telnet from my Ubuntu commandline to my Android phone and pad using the following syntax:

> telnet 


telnet: Unable to connect to remote host: Connection refused

But, I get that error message above when I try both devices.

Can anyone help with this?

  • 1
    Are you running a telnet server on the Android device? Which one? Jun 16, 2012 at 19:07
  • I am just executing telnet from Ubuntu on my laptop
    – sisko
    Jun 16, 2012 at 19:53
  • telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl
    – neverMind9
    Apr 14, 2019 at 16:52

2 Answers 2


Android does not include a telnet daemon. Use the included android debug bridge (meant for development or power users). It comes with the official SDK ( http://developer.android.com/sdk/ ).

  • Install both "tools" packages
  • Enable USB debugging in your phone settings
  • run ./platform-tools/adb shell in yor sdk folder (needs approprate USB rights for your phone)

You then have a local shell on your phone.

If you definitely need access over network install an ssh server app (search play store for SSHDroid or QuickSSHd). You might want a secure shell server on a mobile device that connects to multiple maybe unsafe networks like public hotspots.

  • 1
    For the record adb can work wirelessly.
    – user13391
    Jun 21, 2012 at 15:53
  • 1
    Yes, you're right. It's however not very secure and needs to be switched on after every boot therefore (that's why I omitted it in my original post)
    – ce4
    Jun 21, 2012 at 16:04
  • It's like a bomb waiting to blow up :) I'm pretty sure that's why they make you enable it after reboots.
    – user13391
    Jun 21, 2012 at 16:18

An alternative to the former answer is installing Terminal IDE. Its really nice, but read the description to consider stuff like:

NB: This app CANNOT be installed onto the SDCard because you do not get 'Execute' permissions on that mount. It must run in this app's private memory on the device [Also much more secure]. You can of course still read / write to the SDCard and store files there. ALSO - once extracted it takes up about 100MB. You have been warned.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .