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    1.0.4 • Public • Published

    Telnet Console for NodeJS

    A library for implementing runtime consoles in Node applications. This library allows you to trivially build a telnet daemon for your application that can buffer/intercept console log messages and connect a REPL within a given execution context (usually the main program).

    Security Notes - IMPORTANT!!!

    Telnet is unencrypted and unauthenticated by default. You should not expose it to the internet, or any other network where you do not trust 100% of the hosts. Anything typed, including authentication credentials, can be seen by sniffing the network traffic.

    Additionally, making the REPL available allows anyone who can connect to it to do anything at all with the same privileges as your application -- so even if you are limiting connections to localhost, you must also trust every single user on your machine.

    We recommend only enabling a telnet console under controlled debugging conditions.

    How To Use


    in your code:


    shell command:

    telnet localhost 2323

    More info in examples/ directory; use the source, Luke!


    start(options, ...replHelpers): Start the daemon with the given options object, returning an instance of ConsoleInterceptor


    option default details
    port 2323 port number to listen on; false to disable
    callbackTelnet callback to invoke when telnet daemon has started; receives (port, server, registry).
    callbackStdio callback to invoke when stdio repl has started
    histfile filename to REPL history into; understands ~, falsey to disable
    stdio false if not false, start a REPL on stdio also
    eval evaluator function to use with REPL. Use to get specific scope instead of global.
    logOff true to not display log messages by default
    bufferLines 1000 number of log lines to keep in memory for log command
    users a function which returns true for a valid login/password pair, or an object whose keys are logins and values are passwords

    Note: all standard Node REPL options are also supported. See NodeJS docs.


    You can specify zero or more "helpers" to add custom commands to your server. Each helper object can implement any number of new commands. The property name becomes the command word, and the value of the property becomes the function which is executed.

    Each function which is executed receives the parameters arg, client, and options. The arg parameter is the string that was typed after the command word. The client parameter is a handle to the output stream (i.e. the connection to the remote end). The options parameter is the options argument that was passed to start().

    Each function should return undefined, which is ignored, or an object or string which will be displayed to the remote user. Using the client output stream is possible, but discouraged. If it is used, it is very important to send \r\n instead of \n, and all output must end with \r\n to avoid corrupting the REPL.

    ConsoleIntercetor::reintercept(): re-establish console.log (etc) interception if some other library intercepted it.


    • help - online help
    • log on - console messages show in telnet client (default)
    • log off - console messages don't show in telnet client
    • log N - show the last N messages in the telnet client
    • log - show entire log (up to options.bufferLines lines)
    • last - last result evaluated (also variable _)
    • keys - show Object.keys of argument
    • uptime - show system uptime, load average
    • ifconfig - show network interfaces
    • whoami - show os-level info about running process
    • who - show who is conneted to this process
    • wall - write a message to all connected users
    • stat - show os-level statitics about running process
    • raise - send a signal to this process
    • flush - flush a module from the require cache (potentially very dangerous!!!)

    Debugging Tips


    Every command entered in the REPL is evaluated in such a way as to minimize the possibility of having unintended side-effects in the program under test. One side effect of this is that you can declare variable in the REPL. A special variable, keep, is an object which has been provided so you have a place to stash things.

    Release Notes

    • Jan 4 2021: Initial Release

    Supported Platforms

    • Everything, >= current Node 12 LTS

    Related Products

    • niim - a command-line debugger for Node.js (fork of node-inspect) which can debug programs that need stdin connected to a terminal (eg REPLs).


    npm i telnet-console

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    • wesgarland