ftpd - DARPA Internet File Transfer Protocol server
ftpd [-A | -a] [-C] [-c] [-d] [-E] [-l] [-v] [-T maxtimeout] [-t time‐
out] [-p port] [-U ftpusers-file] [-u umask] [-r realm-file] [-s
Ftpd is the DARPA Internet File Transfer Protocol server process. The
server uses the TCP protocol and listens at the port specified in the
``ftp'' service specification; see services(5).
-A Connections are only allowed for users who can authenticate via
the ftp AUTH mechanism. (Anonymous ftp may also be allowed if it
is configured.) Ftpd will ask the user for a password if one is
-a Connections are only allowed for users who can authenticate (via
the ftp AUTH mechanism) and who are authorized to connect to the
named account without a password. (Anonymous ftp may also be
allowed if it is configured.)
-C Non-anonymous users need local credentials (for example, to
authenticate to remote fileservers), and so they should be
prompted for a password unless they forwarded credentials as
part of authentication.
-c Allow the CCC (Clear Command Channel) command to be used. This
allows less secure connections, and should probably only be used
-d Debugging information is written to the syslog. (Identical to
-E Don't allow passwords to be typed across unencrypted connec‐
-l Each ftp(1) session is logged in the syslog. If this flag
appears twice, additional information about operations performed
(such as files retrieved, directories created, etc.) will be
logged via syslog. If it appears three times, some other sta‐
tistics such as the number of bytes transferred will be logged
via syslog as well.
-v Debugging information is written to the syslog. (Identical to
A client may request a maximum timeout period allowed set to
timeout seconds with the -T option. The default limit is 2
hours. This is different from the normal inactivity timeout
specified by the -t option (see below).
The inactivity timeout period is set to timeout seconds (the
default is 15 minutes).
Run as a server and accept a connection on port. Normally the
ftp server is invoked by inetd(8).
Sets the full path and name of the ftpusers file to use. The
default value is normally /etc/ftpusers.
Sets the umask for the ftpd process. The default value is nor‐
Sets the name of the krb.conf file to use. The default value is
normally set by /etc/krb5.conf.
Sets the name of the srvtab file to use for Kerberos V4 authen‐
tication. The default value is normally /etc/srvtab.
Controls the form of the remote hostname passed to login(1).
Specifying ip results in the numeric IP address always being
passed to login(1). Specifying a number, maxhostlen, sets the
maximum length of the hostname passed to login(1) before it will
be passed as a numeric IP address. If maxhostlen is 0, then the
system default, as determined by the utmp or utmpx structures,
is used. The nostriplocal and striplocal options, which must be
preceded by a comma, control whether or not the local host
domain is stripped from the remote hostname. By default, the
equivalent of striplocal is in effect.
The ftp server currently supports the following ftp requests; case is
ABOR abort previous command
ACCT specify account (ignored)
ADAT send an authentication protocol message
ALLO allocate storage (vacuously)
APPE append to a file
AUTH specify an authentication protocol to be performed
CCC set the command channel protection mode to "Clear" (no protec‐
tion). Only available if the -c command-line option was
CDUP change to parent of current working directory
CWD change working directory
DELE delete a file
ENC send a privacy and integrity protected command (given in argu‐
HELP give help information
LIST give list files in a directory (``ls -lgA'')
MIC send an integrity protected command (given in argument)
MKD make a directory
MDTM show last modification time of file
MODE specify data transfer mode
NLST give name list of files in directory
NOOP do nothing
PASS specify password
PASV prepare for server-to-server transfer
PBSZ specify a protection buffer size
PORT specify data connection port
PROT specify a protection level under which to protect data trans‐
PWD print the current working directory
QUIT terminate session
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
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
XCUP change to parent of current working directory (deprecated)
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.
UMASK change umask. E.g., SITE UMASK 002
IDLE set idle-timer. E.g., SITE IDLE 60
CHMOD change mode of a file. E.g., SITE CHMOD 755 filename
HELP give help information. E.g., SITE HELP
The remaining ftp requests specified in Internet RFC 959 are recog‐
nized, but not implemented. MDTM and SIZE are not specified in RFC
959, but will appear in the next updated FTP RFC.
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 trans‐
fer, preceded by a Telnet IP and Synch, transfer status will be
Ftpd interprets file names according to the ``globbing'' conventions
used by csh(1). This allows users to utilize the metacharacters
Ftpd authenticates users according to the following rules:
1. The user name must be in the password data base, /etc/passwd.
2. An AUTH command must be accepted, the ensuing authentication
protocol (conducted via ADAT commands and replies) must success‐
fully complete, and the authenticated user must permitted
access. Otherwise, a valid password which is not null must be
provided by the client.
3. The user name must not appear in the file /etc/ftpusers.
4. The user must have a standard shell returned by getusershell(3).
5. 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 pass‐
word (by convention this is given as the client host's name).
In the last case, ftpd takes special measures to restrict the client's
access privileges. The server performs a chroot(2) command 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; the following rules are recommended.
~ftp Make the home directory owned by ``ftp'' and unwritable by any‐
Make this directory owned by the super-user and unwritable by
anyone. The program ls(1) must be present to support the list
command. This program should have mode 111.
Make this directory owned by the super-user and unwritable by
anyone. The files passwd(5) and group(5) must be present for
the ls command to be able to produce owner names rather than
numbers. The password field in passwd is not used, and should
not contain real encrypted passwords. These files should be
Make this directory mode 777 and owned by ``ftp''. Users should
then place files which are to be accessible via the anonymous
account in this directory.
If an ADAT command succeeds, the control channel must be either
integrity or privacy protected. In this case, the MIC and ENC commands
are the only commands allowed over the control channel. The argument
to the MIC command is a base 64 encoded string which, when decoded, is
an ftp command integrity protected with a cryptographic checksum. The
argument to the ENC command is a base 64 encoded string which, when
decoded, is an ftp command privacy and integrity protected with encryp‐
If an ADAT command succeeds, ftp replies will also be either integrity
or privacy protected.
If an ADAT command succeeds, the data channel can also be integrity or
privacy protected. The PROT command accepts S for integrity and P for
privacy protection. Unless an ADAT command succeeds, the only protec‐
tion level accepted by the PROT command is C (clear).
SEE ALSOftp(1), getusershell(3), syslogd(8)
Lunt, S. J., FTP Security Extensions, Internet Draft, November 1993.
The anonymous account is inherently dangerous and should avoided when
The server must run as the super-user to create sockets with privileged
port numbers. It maintains an effective user id of the logged in user,
reverting to the super-user only when binding addresses to sockets.
The possible security holes have been extensively scrutinized, but are
The ftpd command appeared in 4.2BSD.