Insider Tips: Server Management with inetd and xinetd


Article from Issue 52/2005

If you have many daemons running on your server, it can be quite difficult to keep track of them all. inetd and xinetd manage these services centrally and also take care of exchanges with your clients, allowing programs without network code to operate as Internet servers.

Typical server applications handle network communication autonomously. They open a socket and listen at a TCP port, using the port to send and receive data. Interaction with a socket is not exactly rocket science, but coding a program for socket interaction can be troublesome and prone to error. It can also be quite difficult to keep track of the various configurations. Central security settings involve a lot of effort if each server has its own set of configuration files. And what’s more, it doesn’t always make sense to re-invent the wheel by coding each program separately for network access.

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