Internet File Transfer Protocol
ftpd is the Internet File Transfer
Protocol server process. The server uses the TCP protocol and listens at the
port specified in the “ftp” service specification; see
The options are as follows:
-Dis specified, forces
ftpdto use IPv4 addresses only.
-Dis specified, forces
ftpdto use IPv6 addresses only.
- Permit only anonymous FTP connections (unless the
-noption is specified), accounts listed in /etc/ftpchroot or users in a login class with the “ftp-chroot” variable set (see below). Other connection attempts are refused.
- With this option set,
ftpdwill detach and become a daemon, accepting connections on the FTP port and forking child processes to handle them. This has lower overhead than starting
ftpdfrom inetd(8) and is thus useful on busy servers to reduce load.
- Debugging information is written to the syslog using
- Each successful and failed FTP session is logged using syslog with a
LOG_FTP. If this option is specified twice, the retrieve (get), store (put), append, delete, make directory, remove directory and rename operations and their filename arguments are also logged.
- Enables multihomed mode. Instead of simply using ~ftp for anonymous transfers, a directory matching the fully qualified name of the IP number the client connected to, and located inside ~ftp, is used instead.
- Do not permit anonymous FTP logins. Normally they are permitted.
- Permit illegal port numbers or addresses for PORT command initiated
connects. By default
ftpdviolates the RFC and thus constrains the PORT command to non-reserved ports and requires it use the same source address as the connection came from. This prevents the "FTP bounce attack" against services on both the local machine and other local machines.
- With this option set,
ftpdlogs all anonymous downloads to the file /var/log/ftpd when this file exists.
- A client may also request a different timeout period; the maximum period
allowed may be set to maxtimeout seconds with the
-Toption. The default limit is 2 hours.
- The inactivity timeout period is set to timeout seconds (the default is 15 minutes).
- Each concurrent FTP session is logged to the file
/var/run/utmp, making them visible to commands
such as who(1).
-Ware mutually exclusive.
- Force the umask to mask, instead of the default specified in /etc/login.conf (usually 022). Also disallows chmod.
- Do not save login records to /var/log/wtmp.
-Uare mutually exclusive.
The file /etc/nologin can be used
to disable FTP access. If the file exists,
displays it and exits. Note: this method will disable
all non-root logins;
see login(1) for further details. If the file
prints it before issuing the “ready” message. If the welcome
file exists (/etc/motd by default),
ftpd prints it after a successful login. If the file
.message exists in a directory,
ftpd prints it when that directory is entered.
The FTP server currently supports the following FTP requests. The case of the requests is ignored.
|ABOR||abort previous command|
|ACCT||specify account (not implemented)|
|ALLO||allocate storage (vacuously)|
|APPE||append to a file|
|CDUP||change to parent of current working directory|
|CWD||change working directory|
|DELE||delete a file|
|EPRT||specify data connection port|
|EPSV||prepare for server-to-server transfer|
|HELP||give help information|
|LIST||give list of files in a directory (
|LPRT||specify data connection port|
|LPSV||prepare for server-to-server transfer|
|MDTM||show last modification time of file|
|MKD||make a directory|
|MODE||specify data transfer mode|
|NLST||give name list of files in directory|
|PASV||prepare for server-to-server transfer|
|PORT||specify data connection port|
|PWD||print the current working directory|
|REIN||reinitialize (not implemented)|
|REST||restart incomplete transfer|
|RETR||retrieve a file|
|RMD||remove a directory|
|RNFR||specify rename-from file name|
|RNTO||specify rename-to file name|
|SITE||non-standard commands (see next section)|
|SIZE||return size of file|
|SMNT||structure mount (not implemented)|
|STAT||return status of server|
|STOR||store a file|
|STOU||store a file with a unique name|
|STRU||specify data transfer structure|
|SYST||show operating system type of server system|
|TYPE||specify data transfer type|
|USER||specify user name; not valid after login|
|XCUP||change to parent of current working directory (deprec.)|
|XCWD||change working directory (deprecated)|
|XMKD||make a directory (deprecated)|
|XPWD||print the current working directory (deprecated)|
|XRMD||remove a directory (deprecated)|
The following non-standard or UNIX specific commands are supported by the SITE request:
|CHMOD||change mode of a file, e.g., SITE CHMOD 755 filename|
|HELP||give help information|
|IDLE||set idle-timer, e.g., SITE IDLE 60|
|UMASK||change umask, e.g., SITE UMASK 002|
The remaining FTP requests specified in Internet RFC 959 are recognized, but not implemented. MDTM and SIZE are specified in RFC 3659.
The FTP server will abort an active file transfer only when the ABOR command is preceded by a Telnet "Interrupt Process" (IP) signal and a Telnet "Synch" signal in the command Telnet stream, as described in Internet RFC 959. If a STAT command is received during a data transfer, preceded by a Telnet IP and Synch, transfer status will be returned.
ftpd interprets file names according to
the “globbing” conventions used by
csh(1). This allows users to utilize the metacharacters
ftpd authenticates users by using the
service and type of ftp, as defined in the
/etc/login.conf file (see
login.conf(5)). An authentication style may be specified by
appending with a colon (‘:’) following the authentication
style, i.e. “joe:skey”. The allowed authentication styles for
ftpd may be explicitly specified by the
“auth-ftp” entry in
ftpd authenticates users according to five
- The login name must be in the password database and not have a null password. In this case a password must be provided by the client before any file operations may be performed.
- The login name must not appear in the file /etc/ftpusers.
- The user must have a standard shell as described by shells(5).
- If the user name appears in the file /etc/ftpchroot, the session's root will be changed to the user's login directory by chroot(2) as for an “anonymous” or “ftp” account (see next item). However, the user must still supply a password. This feature is intended as a compromise between a fully anonymous account and a fully privileged account. The account should also be set up as for an anonymous account.
- If the user name is “anonymous” or “ftp”, an anonymous FTP account must be present in the password file (user “ftp”). In this case the user is allowed to log in by specifying any password (by convention an email address for the user should be used as the password).
Once a user is authenticated the user must be approved by any
approval script defined (see
login.conf(5)). If a valid approval script (by either
:approve=...: or :approve-ftp=...: for the user's class) is defined then it
is run and must exit with a 0 (success) status. When
ftpd is running under the
flag (and debugging is not turned on) then the approval script will be
called with at least the following variables specified via the
-v option (see
login.conf(5)) to the approve script:
|FTPD_HOST||The server's (virtual) hostname|
For example (the line is broken to fit the page):
/usr/libexec/auth/approve_ftpd -v FTPD_HOST=ftp.mycompany.com \ username class service
When the user logs in to the anonymous FTP account,
ftpd takes special measures to restrict the client's
access privileges. The server performs a
chroot(2) to the home directory of the “ftp” user. In
order that system security is not breached, it is recommended that the
“ftp” subtree be constructed with care, following these
- Make the home directory owned by “root” and unwritable by anyone (mode 555).
- Make this directory owned by “root” and unwritable by anyone (mode 511). This directory is optional unless you have commands you wish the anonymous FTP user to be able to run (the ls(1) command exists as a built-in). Any programs in this directory should be mode 111 (executable only).
- Make this directory owned by “root” and unwritable by anyone (mode 511). The files pwd.db (see pwd_mkdb(8)) and group(5) must be present for the ls(1) command to be able to produce owner names rather than numbers. The password field in pwd.db is not used, and should not contain real passwords. The file motd, if present, will be printed after a successful login. These files should be mode 444.
- Make this directory mode 555 and owned by “root”. This is traditionally where publicly accessible files are stored for download.
If logging to the /var/log/ftpd file is enabled, information will be written in the following format:
- The time and date of the download, in ctime(3) format.
- elapsed time
- The elapsed time, in seconds.
- remote host
- The remote host (or IP number).
- The number of bytes transferred.
- The full path (relative to the FTP chroot space) of the file transferred.
- The type of transfer; either ‘a’ for ASCII or ‘b’ for binary.
- Unused field containing a ‘*’, for compatibility.
- Unused field containing an ‘o’, for compatibility.
- user type
- The type of user; either ‘a’ for anonymous or ‘r’ for a real user (should always be anonymous).
- Either a system login name or the value given for “email address” if an anonymous user.
- service name
- The network service name (always ftp).
- Unused field containing a ‘0’, for compatibility.
- real name
- The system login name if the connection is not anonymous, or a ‘*’ if it is.
Although fields exist for logging information on real users, this
file is only used for anonymous downloads. Unused fields exist only for
compatibility with other
ftpd daemon uses the following
- The list of authentication types available to this class. See login.conf(5).
- A boolean value. If set, users in this class will be automatically chrooted to the user's login directory.
- A path to a directory. This value overrides the login directory for users
in this class. A leading tilde (‘
~’) in ftp-dir will be expanded to the user's home directory based on the contents of the password database.
- The path of the file containing the welcome message. If this variable is not set, /etc/motd is used.
For passive mode data connections,
will listen to a random high TCP port. The interval of ports used are
sysctl(8) variables net.inet.ip.porthifirst and
- list of normal users who should be chrooted
- list of unwelcome/restricted users
- welcome notice
- authentication styles
- printed after a successful login
- displayed and access refused
- log file for anonymous downloads
- login account records
- process ID if running in daemon mode
- list of users on the system
ftp(1), login(1), skey(1), who(1), chroot(2), ctime(3), group(5), login.conf(5), motd(5), services(5), shells(5), ftp-proxy(8), inetd(8), pwd_mkdb(8), sysctl(8), syslogd(8)
J. Postel and J. Reynolds, FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL (FTP), RFC 959, October 1985.
P. Hethmon, Extensions to FTP, RFC 3659, March 2007.
ftpd command appeared in