Definition of rexec in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is Rexec?

A TCP/IP utility that enables clients to run commands directly on remote hosts. The remote host must be running the rexec service or daemon for the execution to work. Rexec authenticates the username on the remote host before executing the command and prompts the client to enter a password. Rexec is one of the r-commands available on all UNIX systems.


Microsoft’s implementation of TCP/IP on Windows NT and Windows 2000 includes rexec client software but no rexec service. Rexec provides functionality similar to that of rsh, except rexec uses clear-text password authentication.


You cannot use rexec to run interactive commands such as vi or emacs. Instead, use Telnet to run interactive commands on a remote host. Note also that rexec forwards the user’s password as clear text, which can pose a security risk in some environments.