In a day where massive remote storage is rather common, it may be strange to talk about sharing files using FTP (File Transfer Protocol).
However, it is still used for file exchange where security does not represent an important consideration and for public downloads of documents, for example.
It’s for that reason that learning how to configure a FTP server and enable anonymous downloads (not requiring authentication) is still a relevant topic.
In this article we will explain how to set up a FTP server to allow connections on passive mode where the client initiates both channels of communication to the server (one for commands and the other for the actual transmission of files, also known as the control and data channels, respectively).
You can read more about passive and active modes (which we will not cover here) in Active FTP vs. Passive FTP, a Definitive Explanation.
That said, let’s begin!
Setting up a FTP Server in Linux
To set up FTP in our server we will install the following packages:
# yum install vsftpd ftp [CentOS] # aptitude install vsftpd ftp [Ubuntu] # zypper install vsftpd ftp [openSUSE]
The vsftpd package is an implementation of a FTP server. The name of the package stands for Very Secure FTP Daemon. On the other hand, ftp is the client program that will be used to access the server.
Keep in mind that during the exam, you will be given only one VPS where you will need to install both client and server, so that is precisely the same approach that we will follow in this article.
In CentOS and openSUSE, you will be required to start and enable the vsftpd service:
# systemctl start vsftpd && systemctl enable vsftpd
In Ubuntu, vsftpd should be started and set to start on subsequent boots automatically after the installation. If not, you can start it manually with:
$ sudo service vsftpd start
Once vsftpd is installed and running, we can proceed to configure our FTP server.