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In the old days, we used telnet to see if a port on a remote host was open: telnet hostname portwould attempt to connect to any port on any host and give you access to the raw TCP stream.

These days, the systems I work on do not have telnet installed (for security reasons), and all outbound connections to all hosts are blocked by default. Over time, it's easy to lose track of which ports are open to which hosts.

Is there another way to test if a port on a remote system is open – using a Linux system with a limited number of packages installed, and telnet is not available?

Use Powershell like a boss


Basic code

$ipaddress = "4.2.2.1"
$port = 53
$connection = New-Object System.Net.Sockets.TcpClient($ipaddress, $port)

if ($connection.Connected) {
    Write-Host "Success"
}
else {
    Write-Host "Failed"
}

Turn it into a cmdlet

[CmdletBinding()]
Param(
  [Parameter(Mandatory=$True,Position=1)]
   [string]$ip,

   [Parameter(Mandatory=$True,Position=2)]
   [int]$port
)

$connection = New-Object System.Net.Sockets.TcpClient($ip, $port)
if ($connection.Connected) {
    Return "Connection Success"
}
else {
    Return "Connection Failed"
}

Save as a script and use all the time

Then you use the command in your powershell or cmd prompt like so:

PS C:> telnet.ps1 -ip 8.8.8.8 -port 53

or

PS C:> telnet.ps1 8.8.8.8 53

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Bash has been able to access TCP and UDP ports for a while. From the man page:

/dev/tcp/host/port
    If host is a valid hostname or Internet address, and port is an integer port number
    or service name, bash attempts to open a TCP connection to the corresponding socket.
/dev/udp/host/port
    If host is a valid hostname or Internet address, and port is an integer port number
    or service name, bash attempts to open a UDP connection to the corresponding socket.

So you could use something like this:

xenon-lornix:~> cat < /dev/tcp/127.0.0.1/22
SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_6.2p2 Debian-6
^C pressed here

Taa Daa!

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