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Old 06-19-2007, 02:44 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Southeast US
Distribution: Kubuntu Edubuntu Suse10.2
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FTP to my apache server

With help from this group, I now am hosting my web sites with my Suse apache server box which also is my firewall and router. Many thanks.

I now need to upload updated web pages to my server from a remote location. I can use something like Filezilla or the like to upload, but do not know what I must do on the server end . I assume the server becomes a FTP client, needs password protection against unauthorized entry etc, need firewall to allow FTP port, etc. Please advise.
Old 06-19-2007, 03:06 PM   #2
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you need to install and run an ftp server, like vsftpd, proftpd, pure-ftpd, etc. passwords with ftp are the pw of the user, and are usually plain text unless you tunnel it through ssh or something like that. yes, you'll most likely have to forward ports for ftp through the firewall.

if it's just for your own personal use, not a lot of files, infrequent uploads, etc. it might be better to install openssh and transfer files securely through scp. it depends on your uses and how secure you want to be (not that ftp can't be secure, but ssh has a better track record in that respect, probably harder to crack than having a zillion idiots slamming your port 21 with brute force password attacks, etc.).
Old 06-19-2007, 03:14 PM   #3
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The traditional FTP protocol has an inherent security problem in that it sends data unencrypted--in particular, a packet sniffer anywhere along the way can read your password. A preferable solution is to use the sftp protocol, which is provided by the openssh-server software package (not sure if the package name is the same in Suse).

There are basically two ways to access an ssh account. The LESS secure method involves authentication by entering the username and password. There can be some reasons for prefering this method; it's what I use for particular reasons. The MORE secure method involves public key-rings. If you're going to be updating the web pages from just one particular computer or some particular computers, then you definitely want to use RSA key authentication. This is basically as secure as it gets.

By default, the ssh server will allow command shell access as well as sftp access. If you want to restrict this ability, you'll need the "rssh" software package. Basically, rssh provides a limited shell so that an ssh user can only use sftp or rsync or scp (depending on what you allow).

Now, rsync is worth considering. After you get ssh up and running, you might consider using rsync mirroring to update your web site. Rsync is capable of incremental updating, so that only the files which have been created/changed get transfered over. Obviously, this can make a huge difference in how long it takes to transfer over the changes!


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