linux newby

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Thu Dec 7 00:32:43 UTC 2017

I have a small amount of users in my family who I wish to have access to my
books, movies and audio files.  I have been mixed on whether I should set up
an SFTP or a web server. I don't know which would be easiest.

-----Original Message-----
From: blinux-list-bounces at [mailto:blinux-list-bounces at]
On Behalf Of Linux for blind general discussion
Sent: December 6, 2017 07:30 AM
To: blinux-list at
Subject: Re: linux newby

(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

- 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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