Mac High Sierra – Telnet and FTP Missing?

KB ID 0001364


Why have Apple removed Telnet and FTP, yes they are old, yes they are insecure. For remote management you should be using SSH and for  file transfers you should be using SFTP or FTPS. However what if I want to telnet to a mail server on port 25 and test email flow? What if I need to connect to a Cisco switch that does not have a K9 operating system, and only supports Telnet?

Mac Telnet and FTP Missing

-bash: telnet: command not found
-bash: ftp: command not found

Well I can install Secure CRT, (or use the Excellent Royal TSX.) But, I’m stuck in my ways and want it back where it belongs, i.e. in my Terminal Window!


Download the Executables ‘Here‘.

Extract the files and make sure they are ‘executable’, i.e. they look like this;

Mac High Sierra Telnet and FTP Missing

If not, you can use ‘chmod +x’ to make them executable;

Mac Make File Executable

Copy the files to: /usr/local/bin

reinstall telnet and ftp

All working again.

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Author: PeteLong

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  1. Pete,
    excellent post as always 🙂

    Cheers mate!

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    • Do I need to create /user/local/bin ????. I cannot find it on my MAC.

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      • Its usr not User (Autocorrect?)?

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  2. Thank you for a simple, succinct solution. Most of the replies on this subject have been either to not use them ever again, or install at least 3 new packages to create the same thing. Now I can go back to my original need without the yak shaving the others propose.

    Thank you, again!

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  3. Very nice solution. Thank you!

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  4. Greetings! I just happened to stumble across this great post while researching Apple’s little security fascism (IMHO as a network engineer, they should at least have provided an option to reenable these tools for those of us who have legitimate reason to use them). I believe what everyone should be looking for is /usr, not /user, which does not exist (innocent typo).

    There’s another option I came across that I thought I’d share here:

    brew install inetutils

    This will install all of the following:


    Hope this helps!


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  5. Thanks! Spent all day trying to use netcat/nc for a simple login like this through the VPN to my company terminal server:

    # telnet term-serv 2010

    MUCH easier with a real command 🙂

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  6. Thank you very much!! It works:)))

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  7. Hi Pete,

    I also can’t find /usr/local/bin____yes usr, not user.
    Have been trying a couple of hours now without any luck.
    I even used EasyFind app which also finds hidden folders and files.

    Please advice.

    Post a Reply
    • In Finder > Go To Folder > Type in usr/local/bin


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  8. Sorry forgot to mention, running High Sierra 10.13.6

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