Challenge Technical Guide - Telnet

Telnet is the primary protocol used on the Internet for remote login. Remote login is the ability to connect a computer on one network to a computer on another network and have the local computer behave as if it is directly connected to the remote machine.

Telnet allows the user to create a connection from a computer on one system to a computer on another system, whether that system be next door, or across the globe. Once the connection is established, telnet allows the user to interact with that remote system as if he or she were directly connected.

From a school computer (or home computer) you can perform a routine telnet session. This will typically consist of an interactive Linux (and/or Unix) session on the Challenge machines "mode" (which runs the Linux operating system) and/or "pi" (which runs the IRIX operating system - SGI's variant of the Unix operating system).

You may also access any number of special services, including: search library catalogs in public libraries and university libraries globally, access the text of USA Today, find out what the weather is like in any city on the globe, locate friends' email addresses, etc.

Telnet doesn't deal directly with HTML, or embedded images, or mice, or the other slick features we associate with the World Wide Web. Also, note that Telnet is point-to-point communication between two machines; if more than two sites need to communicate, Telnet alone won't do the job.

You must have Telnet software installed on your machine. Then you may use it to log into the machines "mode" and/or "pi". Logging in is a multistep process. First, you specify the remote site to your Telnet program (e.g. Then, once a connection is made, you still have to enter a user ID and password as a local terminal would.

Here is a tutorial on using Telnet to remotely login to the challenge machine "mode" via a PC running windows.

New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge
Coordinated by Los Alamos National Laboratory and New Mexico Technet
Questions? e-mail: consult