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Signed, Anonymous - Administration

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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At this point in time, your proFTPD server is not configured for anonymous FTP - a fact amply demonstrated by the output of the server when you try to log in as the special "ftp" or "anonymous" users.

Typically, the "ftp" user on the system is configured without a password - which makes it impossible for any user to log in at this time. Therefore, the server needs to be configured to recognize the "ftp" and "anonymous" users, and grant them access to the appropriate public area on the server.

Setting up an anonymous FTP server with proFTPD is simplicity itself - all you need to do is use the special <Anonymous>...</Anonymous> block, which contains configuration parameters for the operation of your FTP server.

In order to enable anonymous FTP, pop open your "proftpd.conf" file and add the following code block to it:
# set root directory for anonymous users to /home/ftp <Anonymous/home/ftp>
# set the user and group for the server process
User ftp
Group ftp
# alias "anonymous" login to "ftp"
UserAlias anonymous ftp
# restrict "anonymous" users from writing data
<Directory *>
<Limit WRITE>
Obviously, you should make sure that an entry exists for the user "ftp" in your system's password file, and that the directory "/home/ftp" exists before activating this configuration. Once you're done that, restart the server and try logging in again as an anonymous user.
$ ftp localhost
Connected to localhost (
220 ProFTPD 1.2.8 Server (ProFTPD) [olympus.melonfire.com] Name 
(localhost:joe): ftp 331 Anonymous login ok, send your complete email 
address as your password.
Password: *******
230 Anonymous access granted, restrictions apply.
Remote system type is UNIX.
Using binary mode to transfer files.
ftp> ls
227 Entering Passive Mode (127,0,0,1,4,199).
150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for file list
drwxr-xr-x   3 ftp      ftp          4096 Apr 28 06:45 pub
226 Transfer complete.
ftp> cd pub
250 CWD command successful.
ftp> ls
227 Entering Passive Mode (127,0,0,1,4,207).
150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for file list
-r-xr-xr-x   1 ftp      ftp       8820072 Jul 15  2002 ar500enu.exe
226 Transfer complete.
ftp> get ar500enu.exe
local: ar500enu.exe remote: ar500enu.exe
227 Entering Passive Mode (127,0,0,1,4,209).
150 Opening BINARY mode data connection for ar500enu.exe (8820072
bytes) 226
Transfer complete. 8820072 bytes received in 2.05 secs (4.2e+03 
ftp> put mbox
local: mbox remote: mbox
227 Entering Passive Mode (127,0,0,1,4,211).
550 mbox: Permission denied
ftp> cd /
250 CWD command successful.
ftp> cd ..
250 CWD command successful.
ftp> pwd
257 "/" is current directory.
ftp> bye
221 Goodbye.
As you can see, the system now gives you access and locates you in the "/home/ftp" directory. You have the ability to download existing files, though not upload new ones, and you can move around freely in the "/home/ftp" hierarchy, but not outside it. In other words, your basic anonymous FTP, good to go!

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

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