Alpine Linux is a security-oriented, lightweight Linux distribution based on musl libc and busybox. It is an operating system designed for use with microservices. Its security, simplicity, and resource efficiency has been a catalyst in its adoption. The base OS is minimal with few packages only required to boot the system.

In this guide. I’ll show you how to install Telnet on Alpine Linux. This article has been written with the assumption that you already have a running Alpine Linux system. You can confirm telnet is not available on Alpine Linux by default.

/ # telnet
/bin/sh: telnet: not found

As of Alpine Linux version 3.7, the telnet package was moved into busybox-extras subpackage.

Install Telnet on Alpine Linux

Update the system for busybox-extras subpackage to be visible.

/ # apk update
fetch http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v3.9/main/x86_64/APKINDEX.tar.gz
ERROR: http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v3.9/main: network error (check Internet connection and firewall)
fetch http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v3.9/community/x86_64/APKINDEX.tar.gz
v3.9.6-16-ged6fdd587d [http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v3.9/main]
v3.9.6-13-gfbfc29c6a0 [http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v3.9/community]
1 errors; 9781 distinct packages available

Install Telnet on Alpine Linux through busybox-extras package:

# apk add busybox-extras
(1/1) Installing busybox-extras (1.29.3-r10)
Executing busybox-extras-1.29.3-r10.post-install
Executing busybox-1.29.3-r10.trigger
OK: 21 MiB in 31 packages

Check if telnet command is now available on Alpine Linux.

/ # telnet
BusyBox v1.29.3 (2019-01-24 07:45:27 UTC) multi-call binary.

Usage: telnet [-a] [-l USER] HOST [PORT]

Connect to telnet server

	-a	Automatic login with $USER variable
	-l USER	Automatic login as USER

Enjoy using Telnet to test connectivity on Alpine Linux.

busybox-extras telnet 172.21.200.10 80

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