linux newby

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Wed Dec 6 14:30:18 UTC 2017

(Tim here, reply below)

On December  6, 2017, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> I am learning how to use debian linux. Where can I find a good
> tutorial that will help me eventually set up an ftp server?

Depends on what you plan to use your FTP server for.  If it's just
internal on your network, it's pretty easy to do, setting up
something like vsftpd.  If you plan to expose it externally, it may
take jumping through a few hoops:

- Unless it's only for anonymous access/download, you'll need to
  establish users. And FTP credentials are sent across the wire in
  plaintext making them pretty insecure

- if you have users, you likely need to fiddle with settings to
  ensure their personal stuff stays private while public stuff
  remains public

- If you're behind a NAT router (like most home routers), you'll have
  to mess with your NAT settings to allow the external ports to be
  redirected to your internal FTP machine

- you have to deal with "active" vs. "passive" connection issues

In short, if you're setting up just an anonymous FTP site for people
to download from and are directly attached to the internet (rather
than behind a NAT router), it will be easiest.  Diverging from any of
those elements introduces more and more pain.

As such, I strongly recommend SFTP (part of the standard SSH/SCP/SFTP
suite that comes with most Linux/BSD/Mac boxes, and freely available
from the makers of Putty) which allows system users, can be locked
down to just SFTP (instead of full shell access), and all credentials
and file contents are encrypted instead of transmitted in plain-text.

But if you want the pain and have more details on the above variants,
I'd be glad to write up a getting-started guide.


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