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INETD(8)                NetBSD System Manager's Manual                INETD(8)

inetd, inetd.conf -- internet ``super-server''
inetd [-d] [-l] [configuration file]
inetd should be run at boot time by /etc/rc (see rc(8)). It then opens sockets according to its configuration and listens for connections. When a connection is found on one of its sockets, it decides what service the socket corresponds to, and invokes a program to service the request. After the program is finished, it continues to listen on the socket (except in some cases which will be described below). Essentially, inetd allows running one daemon to invoke several others, reducing load on the system. The options available for inetd: -d Turns on debugging and runs inetd in the foreground. -f Runs inetd in the foreground. -l Turns on libwrap connection logging. Upon execution, inetd reads its configuration information from a configu- ration file which, by default, is /etc/inetd.conf. The path given for this configuration file must be absolute, unless the -d option is also given on the command line. Services can be specified using the legacy `positional' notation or the `key-values' notation described in the sections Positional Notation and Key-Values Notation below. Positional Notation There must be an entry for each field of the configuration file, with entries for each field separated by a tab or a space. Comments are denoted by a ``#'' at the beginning of a line (see subsection Key-Values Notation for defining comments in key-values definitions). There must be an entry for each field (except for one special case, described below). A positional definition is terminated by a newline. The fields of the configuration file are as follows: [listen-addr:]service-spec socket-type[:accept-filter] protocol[,sndbuf=size][,rcvbuf=size] wait/nowait[:max] user[:group] server-program server program arguments The listen-addr parameter specifies the local address inetd should use when listening. The single character ``*'' means INADDR_ANY: all local addresses. The listen-addr parameter may be a host name, which will be resolved once, when the service definition is read from the config file. Note that restricted listen addresses are meaningless and ignored for UNIX-domain services, and are not supported for Sun-RPC services. All Sun-RPC services always listen on all interfaces. The form of the service-spec parameter varies with the service type. For Internet services, the service-spec parameter can be either the name of a service from /etc/services or a decimal port number. For ``internal'' services (discussed below), the service name must be the official name of the service (that is, the first entry in /etc/services) and not an alias for it. For Sun-RPC based services, the service-spec parameter has the form service-name/version. The service name must be a valid RPC service name from the file /etc/rpc. The version on the right of the ``/'' is the RPC version number. This can simply be a single numeric argument or a range of versions. A range is bounded by the low version to the high version, e.g. ``rusers/1-3''. For UNIX-domain (local) services, the service-spec parameter is the path name to listen on. The service-spec parameter must not begin with a dot. See Directives. The socket-type parameter should be one of ``stream'', ``dgram'', ``raw'', ``rdm'', or ``seqpacket'', depending on whether the socket is a stream, datagram, raw, reliably delivered message, or sequenced packet socket. Optionally, for Internet services, an accept filter (see accept_filter(9)) can be specified by appending a colon to socket-type, followed by the name of the desired accept filter. In this case inetd will not see new connections for the specified service until the accept filter decides they are ready to be handled. The protocol parameter must be a valid protocol as given in /etc/protocols or (for UNIX-domain services) the string ``unix''. The most common are ``tcp'' and ``udp''. For TCP and UDP, the IP version (4 or 6) may be specified explicitly by appending 4 or 6 to the protocol name. Otherwise the default version (IPv4) is used. For Sun-RPC the string ``rpc'' and a slash should be prepended: ``rpc/tcp'' or ``rpc/udp''. If you would like to enable special support for faithd(8), prepend the string ``faith'' and a slash: ``faith/tcp6''. In addition to the protocol, the configuration file may specify the send and receive socket buffer sizes for the listening socket. This is espe- cially useful for TCP: the window scale factor, which is based on the receive socket buffer size, is advertised when the connection handshake occurs and thus the socket buffer size must be set on the listen socket. By increasing the socket buffer sizes, better TCP performance may be realized in some situations. The socket buffer sizes are specified by appending their values to the protocol specification as follows: tcp,rcvbuf=16384 tcp,sndbuf=64k tcp,rcvbuf=64k,sndbuf=1m A literal value may be specified, or modified using `k' to indicate kibibytes or `m' to indicate mebibytes. Socket buffer sizes may be spec- ified for all services and protocols except for tcpmux services. The wait/nowait entry is used to tell inetd if it should wait for the server program to return, or continue processing connections on the socket. If a datagram server reads a single datagram and connects to its peer through a different socket, freeing the service's socket so inetd can receive further messages on the socket, it is said to be a ``multi-threaded'' server, and should use the ``nowait'' entry. For datagram servers which process all incoming datagrams on a socket and eventually time out, the server is said to be ``single-threaded'' and should use a ``wait'' entry. comsat(8) (biff(1)) and ntalkd(8) are both examples of the latter type of datagram server. tftpd(8) is an excep- tion; it is a datagram server that establishes pseudo-connections. It must be listed as ``wait'' in order to avoid a race; the server reads the first packet, creates a new socket, and then forks and exits to allow inetd to check for new service requests to spawn new servers. The optional ``max'' suffix (separated from ``wait'' or ``nowait'' by a dot or a colon) specifies the maximum number of server instances that may be spawned from inetd within an interval of 60 seconds. When omitted, ``max'' defaults to 40. If it reaches this maximum spawn rate, inetd will log the problem (via the syslogger using the LOG_DAEMON facility and LOG_ERR level) and stop handling the specific service for ten minutes. Stream servers are usually marked as ``nowait'' but if a single server process is to handle multiple connections, it may be marked as ``wait''. The master socket will then be passed as fd 0 to the server, which will then need to accept the incoming connection. The server should eventu- ally time out and exit when no more connections are active. inetd will continue to listen on the master socket for connections, so the server should not close it when it exits. identd(8) is usually the only stream server marked as wait. The user entry should contain the user name of the user as whom the server should run. This allows for servers to be given less permission than root. Optionally, a group can be specified by appending a colon to the user name, followed by the group name (it is possible to use a dot (``.'') in lieu of a colon, however this feature is provided only for backward compatibility). This allows for servers to run with a different (primary) group id than specified in the password file. If a group is specified and user is not root, the supplementary groups associated with that user will still be set. The server-program entry should contain the pathname of the program which is to be executed by inetd when a request is found on its socket. If inetd provides this service internally, this entry should be ``internal''. The server program arguments should be just as arguments normally are, starting with argv[0], which is the name of the program. If the service is provided internally, the word ``internal'' should take the place of this entry. It is possible to quote an argument using either single or double quotes. This allows you to have, e.g., spaces in paths and param- eters. Key-Values Notation In key-values notation, keys are separated from their associated values by `=', values are separated by whitespace, and key-values options are separated by commas. A service definition is terminated by a semicolon. Multiple definitions may exist on a single line (and a line may end with a positional definition. A key-values definition has the following form: [listen-addr:]service-spec {on|off} <option> = [value1], <option> = [value1] [value2] ..., <option> =, ...; Values may be in quotes, and support the following escape sequences. \\ Backslash. \n Line feed. \t Tab. \r Carriage return. \' Single quote. \" Double quote. \xXX Hexadecimal byte value, replace XX. [listen-addr:]service-spec has the same form as in positional notation. If service-spec is followed by on then the service definition is active by default. If service-spec is followed by off then the service defini- tion is parsed and errors are output to the system log, but the service is not active and no sockets are created. Comments that exist between the initial on/off directive and the closing semicolon may begin in any column and may exist on the same line as non- comment text. Note: editor syntax highlighting may be misleading! Syntax and semantic error detection is performed on a best-effort basis. If an error with a service definition is easily detectable, it will log the error using syslog(3) and continue reading the configuration file if possible, skipping the erroneous definition or file. Otherwise, it is up to the user to write definitions that conform to the documentation. Errors may be worded differently depending on the ordering of options in the service definition. The following are the available values for <option>: bind Set the listen address for this service. This can be an IPv4 or IPv6 address or a hostname. socktype Equivalent to socket-type in positional notation. socktype is optional if protocol is specified and is udp{4,6} or tcp{4,6}. acceptfilter An accept filter, equivalent to accept in positional nota- tion (see accept_filter(9) and SO_ACCEPTFILTER in setsockopt(2)). protocol Equivalent to protocol in positional notation. If speci- fied as tcp or udp with no version specifier, the associ- ated hostname or bind value is used to determine the IP version. If the version is not specified and the hostname string or bind value is not an IPv4 or IPv6 address, the service definition is invalid. sndbuf Equivalent to sndbuf in positional notation. recvbuf Equivalent to recvbuf in positional notation. wait The value yes or no. Equivalent to wait/nowait in posi- tional notation. This option is automatically determined for internal services, and is mandatory for all others. service_max Equivalent to max in positional notation. Defaults to 40 if not specified. ip_max Specifies the maximum number of server instances that may be spawned from inetd within an interval of 60 seconds for a given IP address. Other address types may also work if supported by getnameinfo(3), test thoroughly using -d. For example, connections from unnamed Unix sockets do not work, but connections from named Unix sockets may work. However, there is no way to only accept named Unix sockets. user The user to run the program as. Equivalent to user in positional notation. group The primary group to run the program as. Equivalent to group in positional notation. exec The path to the program's executable or ``internal'' for a built-in service. If not specified, this will be assumed to be ``internal'' (and will fail if socktype is not speci- fied). args The program arguments. By convention, the first argument should be the name of the program. ipsec An IPsec policy string. Defaults to the global default setting. If specified without a value (i.e., ``ipsec=,''), IPsec will be disabled for this service. See the Directives section for details. Currently only one value is allowed, so all IPsec policies should be in a quoted string, separated by semicolons. Directives <listen-addr>: To avoid the need to repeat listen addresses over and over again, listen addresses are inherited from line to line, and the listen address can be changed without defining a service by including a line containing just a listen-addr followed by a colon. The default (compatible with historical configuration files) is *. To return to this behavior after configuring some services with specific listen addresses, give * explicitly. #@ [<IPsec policy>] [; [<IPsec policy>]] ... The implementation includes a tiny hack to support IPsec policy settings for each socket. A special form of the comment line, starting with ``#@'', is used as a policy specifier. The content of the above comment line will be treated as a IPsec policy string, as described in ipsec_set_policy(3). Multiple IPsec policy strings may be specified by using a semicolon as a separator. If conflicting policy strings are found in a single line, the last string will take effect. IPsec policy strings are not parsed in comments within a key-values service defini- tion. A #@ line affects all of the subsequent lines in the same config file, so you may want to reset the IPsec policy by using a comment line containing only #@ (with no policy string). If an invalid IPsec policy string appears in a config file, inetd logs an error message using syslog(3) and stops reading the current config file, but may continue reading from other files not affected by the IPsec directive. .include <glob-path> Other files can be read by inetd by specifying an include directive in an inetd config file. glob-path is an absolute path or a path relative (including parent directories) to the directory containing the current config file, and may contain glob patterns as specified by glob(7). To include a specific file, include the relative or absolute path of the file. To include all files in a directory, glob-path should be the directory of the files to include followed by "/*". The listening address and IPsec configuration strings of the current con- fig file are inherited by files included by this directive. Files included by this directive using a glob path match are not read in a specific order. If a specific order is desired, files or directories should be included individually without the use of glob patterns. Behav- ior is undefined if multiple include directives include the same file and this should be avoided. Circular references are caught by inetd. Any- thing after glob-path on the same line is ignored. glob-path may be in quotes. Internal Services inetd provides several "trivial" services internally by use of routines within itself. These services are "echo", "discard", "chargen" (charac- ter generator), "daytime" (human readable time), and "time" (machine readable time, in the form of the number of seconds since midnight, Jan- uary 1, 1900 GMT). For details of these services, consult the appropri- ate RFC. TCP services without official port numbers can be handled with the RFC1078-based tcpmux internal service. TCPmux listens on port 1 for requests. When a connection is made from a foreign host, the service name requested is passed to TCPmux, which performs a lookup in the ser- vice name table provided by /etc/inetd.conf and returns the proper entry for the service. TCPmux returns a negative reply if the service doesn't exist, otherwise the invoked server is expected to return the positive reply if the service type in /etc/inetd.conf file has the prefix "tcpmux/". If the service type has the prefix "tcpmux/+", TCPmux will return the positive reply for the process; this is for compatibility with older server code, and also allows you to invoke programs that use stdin/stdout without putting any special server code in them. Services that use TCPmux are "nowait" because they do not have a well-known port number and hence cannot listen for new requests. inetd rereads its configuration file when it receives a hangup signal, SIGHUP. Services may be added, deleted or modified when the configura- tion file is reread. inetd creates a file /var/run/ that con- tains its process identifier. libwrap Support for TCP wrappers is included with inetd to provide internal tcpd- like access control functionality. An external tcpd program is not needed. You do not need to change the /etc/inetd.conf server-program entry to enable this capability. inetd uses /etc/hosts.allow and /etc/hosts.deny for access control facility configurations, as described in hosts_access(5). Nota Bene: TCP wrappers do not affect/restrict UDP or internal services. IPv6 TCP/UDP behavior If you wish to run a server for both IPv4 and IPv6 traffic, you will need to run two separate processes for the same server program, specified as two separate lines in /etc/inetd.conf using ``tcp4'' and ``tcp6'' respec- tively. In positional syntax, plain ``tcp'' means TCP on top of the cur- rent default IP version, which is, at this moment, IPv4. Under various combination of IPv4/v6 daemon settings, inetd will behave as follows: If you have only one server on ``tcp4'', IPv4 traffic will be routed to the server. IPv6 traffic will not be accepted. If you have two servers on ``tcp4'' and ``tcp6'', IPv4 traffic will be routed to the server on ``tcp4'', and IPv6 traffic will go to server on ``tcp6''. If you have only one server on ``tcp6'', only IPv6 traffic will be routed to the server. The kernel may route to the server IPv4 traf- fic as well, under certain configuration. See ip6(4) for details.
/etc/inetd.conf configuration file for all inetd provided services /etc/services service name to protocol and port number mappings. /etc/protocols protocol name to protocol number mappings /etc/rpc Sun-RPC service name to service number mappings. /etc/hosts.allow explicit remote host access list. /etc/hosts.deny explicit remote host denial of service list.
hosts_access(5), hosts_options(5), protocols(5), rpc(5), services(5), comsat(8), fingerd(8), ftpd(8), rexecd(8), rlogind(8), rshd(8), telnetd(8), tftpd(8) J. Postel, Echo Protocol, RFC, 862, May 1983. J. Postel, Discard Protocol, RFC, 863, May 1983. J. Postel, Character Generator Protocol, RFC, 864, May 1983. J. Postel, Daytime Protocol, RFC, 867, May 1983. J. Postel and K. Harrenstien, Time Protocol, RFC, 868, May 1983. M. Lottor, TCP port service Multiplexer (TCPMUX), RFC, 1078, November 1988.
The inetd command appeared in 4.3BSD. Support for Sun-RPC based services is modeled after that provided by SunOS 4.1. Support for specifying the socket buffer sizes was added in NetBSD 1.4. In November 1996, libwrap support was added to provide internal tcpd-like access control function- ality; libwrap is based on Wietse Venema's tcp_wrappers. IPv6 support and IPsec hack was made by KAME project, in 1999.
Host address specifiers, while they make conceptual sense for RPC ser- vices, do not work entirely correctly. This is largely because the portmapper interface does not provide a way to register different ports for the same service on different local addresses. Provided you never have more than one entry for a given RPC service, everything should work correctly (Note that default host address specifiers do apply to RPC lines with no explicit specifier.) tcpmux on IPv6 is not tested enough. For automatic IP version detection in key-values syntax (see the protocol key), addresses with an interface specifier in the form <address>%<iface> are not currently supported, as addresses of that form are not parsed by inet_pton(3). If a positional service definition has an invalid parameter and extends across multiple lines using tab characters, the subsequent lines after the error are treated as new service definitions.
Enabling the ``echo'', ``discard'', and ``chargen'' built-in trivial ser- vices is not recommended because remote users may abuse these to cause a denial of network service to or from the local host. NetBSD 10.99 October 12, 2021 NetBSD 10.99
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