RE: Telnet to Website - How is it meant to work?

  • From: "Quillman Shawn (RBNA/CIT1.1) *" <Shawn.Quillman@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "'[ Discussion List]'" <isalist@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 07:12:57 -0500

You get a blank screen because the web server you've connected to is waiting
to get ah HTTP request from you.  What you want to do is send the server
you're telnetting to a valid HTTP request to see if you get a response back.
The purpose of this is to see if 1) you can actually connect to the web
server, 2) if the web server is listening and 3) if the traffic is making it
back to you or not.  It's, for all practical purposes, an HTTP ping.  When
you make a successful connection you can use a couple of different requests.
The best for a simple test is to send a HEAD request:
Host: remoteservernamehere
User-Agent: Telnet
<hit enter again>
This should result in the server sending you back the typical response
headers that it will send with as a successful response.
You could also send a regular GET request:
GET / HTTP/1.0
Host: remoteservernamehere
User-Agent: Telnet
<hit enter again>
With this you will get back the response headers and the HTML of the home
page of the server you're connecting to if things are working well.
2 CRLF's is the indication of the end of an HTTP request, that's why you
have to hit enter twice to get any kind of response from the server.

Shawn R. Quillman 
Robert Bosch Corporation RBNA/CIT1.1 
38000 Hills Tech Drive 
Farmington Hills, MI  48331 
(248) 553-1164 (P)     (248) 848-2855 (F) 

-----Original Message-----
From: William Robertson [mailto:robertson.william@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Monday, September 29, 2003 6:43 AM
To: [ Discussion List]
Subject: [isalist] Telnet to Website - How is it meant to work?

Hi there


Often in troubleshooting comments are made to telnet into the problem
website on port 80 to see if everything is fine. My question though is what
am I supposed to see when I do this?


If I successfully telnet to a website I am simply faced with a blank screen.
If I press <ENTER> twice I then get the actual code for the error page. Here
is an excerpt... 


HTTP/1.1 400 Bad Request ( The data is invalid.  )


Connection: close

Proxy-Connection: close

Pragma: no-cache

Cache-Control: no-cache

Content-Type: text/html

Content-Length: 3116


<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">

<HTML dir=ltr><HEAD><TITLE>The page cannot be displayed</TITLE>

<STYLE>A:link {

        FONT: 8pt/11pt verdana; COLOR: #ff0000


A:visited {

        FONT: 8pt/11pt verdana; COLOR: #4e4e4e




blah blah blah


Does anyone have any advice on how I should be troubleshooting websites
through a telnet session please?



William R.



William Robertson

AST Mpumalanga

Systems House / Consultant: Software

Tel: 013-2472703 / 083 638 0354

   Fax: 013-2462236



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