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How important is it to know telnet, for vBulletin-related processes?

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  • How important is it to know telnet, for vBulletin-related processes?

    How essential is it for me to learn telnet procedures for vBulletin-related processes? What are the best sites for learning more about telnet and which "telnet client" (which telnet software program) to use?

    I did a search on google.com and got a lot of results in the list, many of which seemed fairly random. I printed out as much as I could but didn't have a chance to review the info yet. I bought a book on Unix, but that doesn't really say how to get into telnet in the first place. (And my ISP's telnet-related documentation is very limited, even though my hosting plan is rather expensive.)

    a few other questions:


    1) Especially if you have antivirus and firewall software running in the background, is it that essential to use SSH and telnet (rather than a standard FTP program such as Cute FTP) when downloading and uploading files?

    In other words, is there still a risk of being "hacked into" remotely for that info even when you have that software running in the background to detect hacking attempts?


    2) I was told on these forums about Flashget, which enables very fast downloads (3 minutes to download a 55-megabyte forums database, for example - using a high-speed connection, of course). I love the software; it's great. Just wanted to note, though, that so far as I can see, I can't use such software to upload to a server - for example, to upload a forums database backup to a server.

    So, it takes about an hour via Cute FTP to upload the forums db to a server. I know this is probably not the best way to go about uploading. Is it true that the longer an upload takes, the greater the risk of file corruption due to - for example - split-second network glitches that can occur when you're online? Or is that not necessarily much of an issue?


    I've just been so busy with learning vBulletin and running my forums that I've never had a chance to figure out telnet. But is it fairly important to try to learn it now, or what?

    I know that telnet is probably the best way for me to transfer my forums db from one server to another, for example. And I know those procedures are described in the online vBulletin manual. But I was just going the slow route (Cute FTP) by downloading the forums db to my hard drive, then uploading it to the other server.

  • #2
    OK first you need a telnet program. Putty ( http://www.hostrocket.com/putty.exe ) is easy to use and works well. It also supports SSH if your host requires it.

    1) Using FTP is no more or less dangerous than using Telnet/SSH, but I'm not quite sure I understand - are you thinking that someone is going to hack into you via the file you are downloading? I don't think that's possible.

    2) Uploads usually if not always take longer than downloads because most people are using either aDSL (asynchronous DSL, which means upload/download speeds are not equal, and 99% of the time it's faster download than upload) or cable (which is usually slower uploads) or a modem, which has slower upload speeds. It's not so much corruption you need to worry about but a timeout or glitch in the middle that kills the upload.

    To transfer large files between servers, use Telnet or SSH and, if you know the exact filename (and it is accessible from the web, e.g. in your public_html directory or lower), use this command:
    wget http://url.com/path/to/file
    If not, use FTP via telnet which will go faster, especially for uploads. You need to know FTP commands but it is pretty basic (type what's in quotes):
    'ftp'
    ftp> 'open site.com'
    Username: 'myusername'
    Password: 'mypassword'
    ftp> 'ascii'
    (if you know where you're going, type 'cd path/to/where/you're/going' otherwise, use 'ls' to get a directory listing)
    ftp> 'get filename.sql'
    ftp> 'exit'

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by tubedogg
      OK first you need a telnet program. Putty ( http://www.hostrocket.com/putty.exe ) is easy to use and works well. It also supports SSH if your host requires it.

      Thanks so much for the link! I'll check that out soon. Do you happen to know of good links for telnet tutorials, also?



      1) Using FTP is no more or less dangerous than using Telnet/SSH, but I'm not quite sure I understand - are you thinking that someone is going to hack into you via the file you are downloading? I don't think that's possible.

      Well, I thought I had heard that when you upload and download, your username and password could be floating around out there electronically, and hackers could gain access to the info somehow. But I don't see how, if you're running antivirus and firewall software in the background to make sure that no hacker-enabling devices are lurking around. Am I wrong about that?




      2) Uploads usually if not always take longer than downloads because most people are using either aDSL (asynchronous DSL, which means upload/download speeds are not equal, and 99% of the time it's faster download than upload) or cable (which is usually slower uploads) or a modem, which has slower upload speeds. It's not so much corruption you need to worry about but a timeout or glitch in the middle that kills the upload.

      Thanks for the explanation. Is telnet quicker than FTP? Would the same 55-mb database I mentioned before still take an hour to upload whether I use telnet or FTP? Because for some reason I thought that telnet is quicker.



      To transfer large files between servers, use Telnet or SSH and, if you know the exact filename (and it is accessible from the web, e.g. in your public_html directory or lower), use this command:
      wget http://url.com/path/to/file
      If not, use FTP via telnet which will go faster, especially for uploads. You need to know FTP commands but it is pretty basic (type what's in quotes):
      'ftp'
      ftp> 'open site.com'
      Username: 'myusername'
      Password: 'mypassword'
      ftp> 'ascii'
      (if you know where you're going, type 'cd path/to/where/you're/going' otherwise, use 'ls' to get a directory listing)
      ftp> 'get filename.sql'
      ftp> 'exit'

      Thanks for the comprehensive info regarding all the procedures! I'll try that sometime soon. I guess I'm still a little intimidated by telnet, though.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bobbi
        Thanks so much for the link! I'll check that out soon. Do you happen to know of good links for telnet tutorials, also?
        I don't, sorry. But any UNIX/*nix tutorial would work, as Telnetting in is just shell access.
        Edit: I do know of this set of pages that are man pages (man is short for manual in *nix) from various functions of the system. Look here:
        http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/Help/Unix/manpage.html
        Well, I thought I had heard that when you upload and download, your username and password could be floating around out there electronically, and hackers could gain access to the info somehow. But I don't see how, if you're running antivirus and firewall software in the background to make sure that no hacker-enabling devices are lurking around. Am I wrong about that?
        I don't know if the username/password thing is true, honestly.
        Thanks for the explanation. Is telnet quicker than FTP? Would the same 55-mb database I mentioned before still take an hour to upload whether I use telnet or FTP? Because for some reason I thought that telnet is quicker.
        If you are going from your computer to the server, no. If you are going from another server to your server, yes, because it's using the bandwidth of the server, not your computer.
        Thanks for the comprehensive info regarding all the procedures! I'll try that sometime soon. I guess I'm still a little intimidated by telnet, though.
        Don't be. It takes some getting used to, and I'm not even sure I get some of it, but it is extremely useful to know at least the basics.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bobbi
          Well, I thought I had heard that when you upload and download, your username and password could be floating around out there electronically, and hackers could gain access to the info somehow. But I don't see how, if you're running antivirus and firewall software in the background to make sure that no hacker-enabling devices are lurking around. Am I wrong about that?
          If you use straight telnet, then it is possible for someone to 'sniff' your password. For this reason it's better to use an SSH agent, like 'putty' for example. It does the same thing (logs into your shell account) but gives the added protection of encrypting all traffic, including your login password.
          Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
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          Mankind is the only creature smart enough to know its own history, and dumb enough to ignore it.


          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by smachol
            If you use straight telnet, then it is possible for someone to 'sniff' your password. For this reason it's better to use an SSH agent, like 'putty' for example. It does the same thing (logs into your shell account) but gives the added protection of encrypting all traffic, including your login password.

            Okay. Thanks for the clarification. I just learned some telnet and Unix stuff yesterday, and I'll try to install and learn the 'putty' system soon.

            Comment

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