I'm trying to telnet from a Unix (specifically, Mac OS X) laptop into a server running Windows Server 2008 R2, but am experiencing some issues. The connection is made successfully, but I can't backspace or cycle through command history with the arrow keys. I also can't scroll up, but I'm pretty sure that's a client-side issue. Correct me if I'm wrong.

$ telnet -l 'MYDOMAIN\me' x.x.x.x
Trying x.x.x.x...
Connected to x.x.x.x.
Escape character is '^]'.
Welcome to Microsoft Telnet Service

password: ******

Microsoft Telnet Server.

The backspace key does nothing, but ^H still sends erase, so it's not as bad as it could be. Here's what trips me up, though: In OSX's Terminal.app, I have the backspace key set to send to ^H. In reality though, erase occurs on both ^H and ^? no matter what I've configured, so obviously there's something else going on here that I don't understand.

I've also tried using my telnet client's send command to send keycode 127, with no luck. The Windows telnet client works fine though, so my next course of action is going to be telnetting from Windows to a simple raw TCP socket server so I can try to figure out what it's sending. I won't have access to the necessary equipment until sometime next week though, so I figured I'd post this in the meantime.

And for all of you telnet-haters out there: Yes, I know that telnet is a security nightmare, generally sucks and I shouldn't be using it, but unfortunately it's not my decision to make and our local sysadmin is needlessly picky. Why she's alright with telnet but not SSH, and if said preference can even be reasonably justified, I couldn't really say. The point is, SSH for Windows is regrettably not an option.

closed as off-topic by Iain, masegaloeh, Ward, mdpc, fuero Mar 4 '15 at 12:43

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  • 9
    If that is true, your local sysadmin should be fired before she causes any more damage to the company. And the "right" way is PowerShell remoting. – Michael Hampton Mar 3 '15 at 18:33
  • Try and talk them into using the free version of this? powershellserver.com/overview/ssh – Zoredache Mar 3 '15 at 19:38

You probably have to adjust your Terminal settings using Terminal --> Preferences --> Settings --> Advanced --> (un)check Delete sends Control-H

To troubleshoot and see what your Backspace is actually sending, enable network data debug in your Telnet by:

  1. telnet
  2. set netdata
  3. o
  4. [the Windows server name or IP]

Now all characters sent (back and forth) will be displayed on your screen with their ASCII values. See what the Backspace (and others) gives you.

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