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Need to set up an FTP server on your network to simplify file transfer between users or hosts? Look no further than the robust, secure and very free proFTPD server, which has everything you need to get up and running in a jiffy. This article covers installing and configuring proFTPD for both regular and anonymous FTP, and also explains how to customize the operation of the server for different requirements.

  1. Professional File Transfer with proFTPD
  2. The Sales Pitch
  3. Source Control
  4. Start Me Up
  5. Going Home
  6. Signed, Anonymous
  7. Giving Back
  8. Timberrrrrrrrr!
  9. Getting Virtual
  10. Passing Messages
  11. Ending On A High Note
By: Vikram Vaswani, (c) Melonfire
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 26
May 14, 2003

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Unlike its competitors, some of which require four or more configuration files, proFTPd is controlled via a single configuration file, usually located in "/usr/local/ftpd/etc/proftpd.conf". Pop open this file, and put the following lines of code into it:
# set server parameters
ServerName "ProFTPD"
ServerAdmin "admin@localnet.com"
ServerType standalone
Port 21
# set default umask
Umask 022
# set the user and group for the server process
User nobody
Group nobody
If you've ever used the Apache Web server, you'll notice a marked similarity between the configuration file above and Apache's "httpd.conf" file. This is no accident - proFTPD was inspired by the Apache approach, and uses a similar directive-based technique to configure the server.

Most of the directives above should be fairly self-explanatory - the ServerName directive sets the name of the server (as displayed to connecting users), the ServerAdmin directive sets the email address of the server's administrator and the Port directive sets the port the server will run on. The ServerType directive specifies whether the server is active at all times, or whether it is awakened on demand from the "inetd" daemon. The User and Group directives set the user and group owning the server process, while the Umask directive sets the file mask for files and directories created by FTP users.

With the configuration completed, how about starting the server and playing with it a little?
$ /usr/local/ftpd/sbin/proftpd
If all goes well, proFTPd should start up and run in the background as a daemon.

You can verify this by checking the list of running processes:
$ ps ax | grep proftpd
28429 ?        S      0:00 proftpd: (accepting connections)
You can also test if the daemon is, in fact, running by a quick telnet to port 21 (the default FTP port) - you should see something like this:
$ telnet localhost 21
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'.
220 ProFTPD 1.2.8 Server (ProFTPD) [olympus.melonfire.com]
telnet> quit
Connection closed.
Now, how about logging in and messing around a bit?

>>> More Site Administration Articles          >>> More By Vikram Vaswani, (c) Melonfire

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