If the inetd daemon is started without specifying an alternate configuration file, the inetd daemon reads this file for information on how to handle Internet service requests. The inetd daemon reads its configuration file only when the inetd daemon starts or when the inetd daemon receives a SIGHUP signal. Each line in the inetd configuration file defines how to handle one Internet service request.
Each line is of the form:
ServiceName SocketType ProtocolName Wait/NoWait UserName \
These fields must be separated by spaces or tabs.
Continuation lines are terminated with a \ (backslash). Comments
are denoted with a # (number sign). The fields
have the following meanings:
Contains the name of an Internet service
defined in the /etc/services file. For services provided internally
by the inetd daemon, this name must be the official name
of the service. That is, the name must be identical to the first entry
on the line that describes the service in the /etc/services file.
Contains the name for the type of socket used
for the service. You can use either the stream
value for a stream socket, the dgram value for a datagram socket, the
raw value for a raw socket, the rdm value for a reliably delivered
message socket, or the seqpacket value for a sequenced packet socket.
You can also use xstream and xdgram to permit the transparent mode
of connections for stream and datagram sockets, respectively. Currently, only
application gateways for firewall services use the transparent mode of
Contains the name of an Internet protocol defined in the /etc/protocols file. For example, use the tcp value for a service that uses the TCP/IP protocol and the udp value for a service that uses the UDP protocol.
The following are sample entries in the /etc/inetd.conf
file for an inetd daemon that:
Uses the ftpd daemon for servicing ftp requests
Uses the talkd daemon for ntalk requests
Provides time requests internally
ftp stream tcp nowait root /usr/sbin/ftpd ftpd ntalk dgram udp wait root /usr/sbin/talkd talkd time stream tcp nowait root internal time dgram udp wait root internal
Commands: biff(1), comsat(8).
Daemons: inetd(8), talkd(8), tftpd(8).
Files: protocols(4), services(4). delim off