Managed File Transfer and Network Solutions

Setting up a Linux FTP Server - Part 3

Posted by John V. on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 @ 06:47 AM

This is Part 3 of a 3-part blog post showing how to set up a Linux FTP Server. Let's recap what we've accomplished so far. In Part 1, you learned how to install the JSCAPE MFT Server on a Linux server. Then in Part 2, you learned how to install its admin tool, known as the JSCAPE MFT Server Manager, on a Mac. Here in our last installment, we'll teach you how to activate an FTP service on your managed file transfer Linux server using that admin tool.


Activating an FTP service on an existing domain   

If you already have an existing domain on your JSCAPE MFT Server but haven't added an FTP service to it yet, you can add the service by going to the domain's Services node and then clicking the Add button.


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On the succeeding screen, select FTP/S from the Protocol drop-down list and then choose the appropriate Host and Port number. 21 is the commonly used port number for a typical FTP service, so I suggest you use that to avoid confusing your users. In the Type drop-down list, you can choose from regular, explicit SSL, forced explicit SSL, and implicit SSL. Select regular for now. When you're done, click OK.


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You should then see your newly added FTP service under your Services node. 


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You can then create user accounts so that people can start using your new FTP service. To create a user account, go to the Users node then click the Add button. 


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You'll then be asked to select a User Template. Assuming what you have there is a fresh install of JSCAPE MFT Server, you'll only find one template in the drop-down list - the Default. Later on, when you're more familiar with the Manager, you will want to create user templates and then create users off of them. This will make the task of adding users much faster. But for now, just click OK.


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Fill-in all pertinent information into the fields provided. For now, just put in a Name, a Login name, and that login name's corresponding Password. Don't forget to confirm the password. Click OK.


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That user account will then be added to your list of Users


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How to activate an FTP service if you don't have an existing domain yet


Of course, if there is no domain to add the service to, you will need to create a domain first. Domains are created in the Domains tab, which can be reached by either clicking the Close button in the lower-right corner of the last screen shown above or by re-launching your JSCAPE MFT Manager. The moment you're inside the Domains tab, click the Add button to add a new domain.


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Give the domain a name and click Next.


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On the succeeding screen, select FTP/S from the Service type drop-down list and then choose the appropriate Host and Port number. 21 is the commonly used port number for a typical FTP service, so I suggest you use that to avoid confusing your users. In the Type drop-down list, you can choose from regular, explicit SSL, forced explicit SSL, and implicit SSL. Select regular for now. When you're done, click Next.


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You have just configured your FTP service but you still need to do a couple more steps to complete the domain creation process. 

Choose a directory in your Linux server for this domain's datastore. If you don't specify any directory, the system will place it inside the /users/(name of domain) directory under the installation directory of your JSCAPE MFT Server. In my case, therefore, that would be /opt/JSCAPE_MFT_Server/logs/MyDomain. Click Next.


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 Do the same for this domain's log files. Click OK.


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JSCAPE MFT Server will then add your newly created domain into its Domains tab and may automatically launch that domain's main control screen. Click the Services node. If all went well, you should see the FTP service you added when you created this domain. 


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Now, just in case you get an error like this:


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It means a similar service already exists. This usually happens if you have an existing domain with a running FTP service. You can either delete that other FTP service or you can simply go back the previous steps and change the port number of your second FTP service. 


Testing your new Linux FTP server

Once you've got your FTP service and user accounts ready, you can then proceed to test them using your favorite FTP client. Here's a screenshot of AnyClient, a free and highly versatile file transfer client, connecting to my Linux FTP server.


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The file system you see under the section labeled Remote System in the screenshot above is only a virtual file system.

The JSCAPE MFT Server's Virtual File System is quite different from your actual OS' file system. More specifically, the users you create as well as the permissions you grant them to files and directories in your JSCAPE server are different from the users and permissions found in your operating system.

By default, JSCAPE MFT Server user accounts are actually jailed user accounts. With respect to the entire Linux file system, these users will not be able to access files and directories above them. This user may create folders under his virtual file system and he may upload files to those folders but he won't be able to access any of the folders above his topmost folder. 

This is just one of the many secure file transfer features built into your JSCAPE MFT Server. We actually have a video that has a more detailed discussion about this Virtual File System and jailed user accounts. Click that link to view it.

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Topics: JSCAPE MFT Server, Managed File Transfer, Linux FTP Server