Have you tried to use Telnet on MacOS only to find out it wasn’t there? You’re not alone, many have been disappointed to find out that Telnet has been removed from modern versions of the system software starting from MacOS Mojave and newer. These instructions will work for MacOS Mojave and newer, I happen to be running Big Sur and this is what I did to get Telnet back.
Installing Telnet on MacOS with Homebrew
First I would like to mention that there is an easier route, that is using Homebrew. I see a lot about it and many people seem happy with it but I have an aversion to putting it on my machine. If you don’t already have Homebrew on your machine, navigate over to the brew website and follow the installation instructions. I would caution against following them exactly though for security purposes. I would do it like this instead:
$ curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install.sh
Open and inspect the install.sh script to see what it does and make sure you feel comfortable running it on your machine. And then run it.
After installing Homebrew, install Telnet
$ brew install telnet
Installing Telnet on MacOS by Building Telnet from Source
This was the method I used. There are some prerequisite steps though, if you don’t already have them you’ll need to install the MacOS command line tools.
Step 1: Installing the command line tools
Open a terminal and enter the following line, you’ll then be shown a pop up prompt.
$ xcode-select --install
Click install when the prompt pops up.
After that you’ll be shown a license which you’ll have to agree to in order to install.
After that you’ll see the download progress and the install will happen after that. Unfortunately I forgot to get screen shots of the following message boxes.
Step 2: Getting the Telnet source
$ curl -o http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/inetutils/inetutils-1.9.4.tar.gz
Step 3: Extract the source
$ tar -xvf inetutils-1.9.4.tar.gz
Step 4: Configure and build
Now that the source is extracted change into the directory:
$ cd inetutils-1.9.4
Run the configure command:
Run the make command to build:
And then install:
$ sudo make install
Either way you choose is fairly easy, the build for this is pretty straight forward and was very quick. I don’t think it even took me 10 minutes to build and install.