RSH on Windows 2003 R2 – Part I


Installing and configuring RSH server on Windows box has always been an area of special interest for me; especially because I have seen many issues and the troubleshooting of them has always involved unstructured steps. In this Part I; I am trying to capture the simplest possible steps that have been tested for considerable times and proved to be desirable and sufficient for such scenario. The steps mentioned below; is primarily based on Windows 2003 R2.


Once we install “Subsystem for UNIX-based applications” and “Utilities and Software Development Kit (SDK) for Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications” we can proceed for configuring RSH server on the Windows box.


On windows box:


Open C or K shell and execute the following the commands:


Move to /etc directory


cd /etc


 Open a file called hosts.equiv


vi hosts.equiv


Put the entries like


<Name or IP address of the UNIX client><TAB><UserName of a UNIX user>


For example:


192.168.1.10     user1


            Close and save the file


      Change the permission to read only to everyone


                  chmod 444 /etc/hosts.equiv


            Open the inetd.conf file and remove the comment entries for the following files:


shell   stream  tcp     nowait  NULL    /usr/sbin/in.rshd       in.rshd -a


exec    stream  tcp     nowait  NULL    /usr/sbin/in.rexecd     in.rexecd


login   stream  tcp     nowait  NULL    /usr/sbin/in.rlogind    in.rlogind -a


            Save and close the file


            Restart the inet service as


cd /etc/init.d


./inet stop


./inet start                   


We are pretty much done with the essential steps on Windows box; let’s login from the UNIX box as the user that we specified in the hosts.equiv file


For example; login as user1 from 192.168.1.10


Now execute the command as:


rsh <Windows box IP or Name> <any UNIX command> (assuming user1 is also a valid NON ADMIN user on the Windows box)


In case user1 is not a valid user on the Windows box modify the above command as:


rsh -l user1 <Windows box Ip or Name> <any UNIX command>


Note that:


hosts.equiv file only works with a NON ADMIN user


Based on my experience the following steps seem to be helpful in certain scenarios; particularly in such cases when the above mentioned steps results in “Permission denied” error.


Open windows explorer and go to C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc


Open hosts file and add the entry for the UNIX box as


<IP address of the UNIX client> <TAB><name of the UNIX box>


Save and close the file

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