What is FTP Server?
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a protocol that helps in file transmission between devices over a network and store files remotely on an FTP server. The operation becomes successful only when one of the parties permits another to send or receive files via the Internet. The cloud, holds files remotely, and is now used frequently to store files.
FTP is one of the oldest and most trusted methods to send files over a network. Most businesses still use FTP to upload files to a server where they are stored, may be downloaded, and can be viewed later. Healthcare, finance, architecture, wholesale distribution, and legal services are a few key industries that frequently demand FTP. Let’s have a look at some of its benefits that can make it a useful option for your organization.
Benefits of Using FTP for your Organization
There are undoubtedly alternative ways to transfer files besides FTP. What are the advantages of FTP over other transmission methods then? Here are a few advantages that businesses enjoy by choosing FTP servers over other transfer methods.
1. Automated Backup for Disaster Recovery – You can encounter problems with lost or compromised data at any time. There are various service providers in the market that guarantee that all of your information, from basic data to your most sensitive and crucial files, are never lost when you select a top FTP provider.
You won’t have to worry about missing out on work if a disaster occurs, such as a loss of power, a disruption in your internet service, or even a real natural disaster. Your data is instead routinely and automatically backed up to a different place. If necessary, you can even communicate with the FTP service provider to restore your data.
2. Large File Sharing – If your business handles a lot of data, you won’t want your file-sharing procedure to be completely halted by excessively huge files. Instead, it is best to use an FTP server that allows users to transfer megabytes of data all in a single attempt.
3. Remote Access to Files – Employees who work from home or while traveling find FTP to be very helpful because it enables remote access to files. No matter where an individual is physically located, remote access makes it possible for cooperation and productivity.
4. Security Enhancements – The level of protection that these managed options provide is ultimately the main advantage of using FTP servers over alternative methods. While FTPS and SFTP are safe variants of the conventional FTP that offer encrypted and secure file transfer options. These secure protocols are used by organizations to safeguard sensitive data while it is being moved from one device to the other. Your sensitive files are encrypted in transit, giving you the additional security that they won’t get into the wrong hands.
5. Improved IT System Workflows – The efficiency of your company may suffer if your organization’s file sharing procedures are not consistent. You can share massive volumes of data instantly rather than sending one file at a time. To prevent interruptions to your production, you can go on working while doing large transfers or schedule them for late at night or on the weekend.
Additionally, having an FTP server allows you to keep all of your files in one area. As a result, your team spends less time looking for a particular piece of data. It also lessens the possibility of missing files.
How to Implement FTP in Your Organization: A Step-by-Step Guide
In this section, we will show you how to setup an FTP server in your organization.
Step 1 - Install vsftpd FTP Server
By default, the vsftpd package is available in the Ubuntu operating system. Install it using the following command.
apt install vsftpd
After installing the vsftpd server, start and enable the vsftpd service using the following command.
systemctl start vsftpd systemctl status vsftpd
By default, the vsftpd listens on port 21. You can check it using the following command.
ss -antpl | grep 21
LISTEN 0 32 *:21 *:* users:(("vsftpd",pid=118140,fd=3))
At this point, the vsftpd server is installed and running in your server. Now proceed to the next step.
Step 2 - Create an FTP User
Next, you will need to create an FTP user for vsftpd. Create it with the following command.
Set your user’s password as shown below.
Then, create a directory for FTP and set ownership and permissions on it.
mkdir /home/ftpuser/ftp chown nobody:nogroup /home/ftpuser/ftp chmod a-w /home/ftpuser/ftp mkdir /home/ftpuser/ftp/upload chown ftpuser:ftpuser /home/ftpuser/ftp/upload
Next, create a test file in the FTP directory.
echo "This is test file" | tee /home/ftpuser/ftp/upload/test.txt
Step 3 - Configure FTP Server
By default, the vsftpd main configuration file is located at /etc/vsftpd.conf. Edit and modify the default settings to set up an FTP server.
Let’s edit the FTP configuration file.
Change the following lines.
anonymous_enable=NO local_enable=YES write_enable=YES chroot_local_user=YES user_sub_token=$USER local_root=/home/$USER/ftp pasv_min_port=30000 pasv_max_port=31000
Save and close the file then restart the vsftpd service to apply the changes.
systemctl restart vsftpd
Step 4 - Access FTP Server via CLI
At this point, your FTP server is installed and configured. Now, its time to verify it from the remote client machine. First, go to the client machine, open the command line terminal and connect to the FTP server using the following command.
You are asked to provide your FTP username and password. After the successful authentication, you see the following screen.
Next, run the following command to see your exiting directory content.
You should see your uplaod directory in the following output.
229 Entering Extended Passive Mode (|||30691|) 150 Here comes the directory listing. drwxr-xr-x 2 1001 1001 4096 Jul 31 13:59 upload 226 Directory send OK. ftp>
Now, see the content of the upload directory with the following command.
You will see your test file in the following output.
229 Entering Extended Passive Mode (|||30202|) 150 Here comes the directory listing. -rw-r--r-- 1 0 0 18 Jul 31 13:59 test.txt 226 Directory send OK. ftp>
Finally, exit from the FTP session using the following command.
Step 5 - Access FTP Server via FileZilla Client
Thank you for reading How to Implement FTP in Your Organization: A Step-by-Step Guide. We shall conclude the article.
How to Implement FTP in Your Organization: A Step-by-Step Guide Conclusion
In this post, we installed the vsftpd server and configured it for the production environment. Then, we showed you how to connect FTP server via command line and verify the content of the FTP directory. We also installed the FileZilla FTP client and access the FTP server via the FileZilla GUI interface. I hope you can now easily set up an FTP server in your organization.