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Old 09-18-2006, 05:27 PM   #1
cabe
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Webapp that emulates FTP?


I like to share files with my friends and sometimes like to access my computer back home when I'm on the road. I've been using FTP for this with some success, but problems occur when a good FTP client isn't avaliable on the machine I'm using. Some of my friends aren't the most computer savvy, either, so they'll even use IE to access my ftp..

Im wondering if there is any webapp that I can run on my webserver that will emulate FTP functionality. This would make my files a LOT more accessable. Come on guys, there's got to be something like this out there!
 
Old 09-18-2006, 05:39 PM   #2
macemoneta
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In any web browser, you can just enter the URL with ftp:// instead of http:// to access an FTP server.
 
Old 09-18-2006, 05:40 PM   #3
cabe
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Just found this:
http://www.rejetto.com/hfs/

I guess that's similar to what I'm looking for, except it doesn't run under Linux :-P. I'm also using Apache, so I'd like to find a webapp that will run under Apache with the functionality of the above program. Anyone have any ideas?
 
Old 09-18-2006, 05:43 PM   #4
cabe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macemoneta
In any web browser, you can just enter the URL with ftp:// instead of http:// to access an FTP server.
That's true, but there is no secure login that way, and uploading files becomes a problem if using Firefox for example. It would be nice to find a HTTP webapp that looks like ftp, but with secure login, and an upload button to allow uploading files.
 
Old 09-18-2006, 05:51 PM   #5
macemoneta
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There is no such thing as secure login using FTP. All passwords are transmitted as clear text, which is the reason you should only use FTP for anonymous access.

For secure file transfer, you can use sftp, provided as part of the OpenSSH package. There are many packages that provide nice GUIs for sftp, for any platform. It is built into the desktops on most Linux distributions (for example, in Gnome Places->Connect to Server).
 
Old 09-18-2006, 06:19 PM   #6
cabe
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I'm looking for a HTTP webapp that looks and works like a FTP client. This way, my friends don't have to download special programs to access my shared files. Letting them use the browser they already have is a lot more simple than telling them "go download this ftp client" and then teaching them how to use it every time I want to send a file.
 
Old 09-18-2006, 07:09 PM   #7
macemoneta
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The problem with using a web app is that you have to trust the server providing the applet, otherwise you open yourself to a man in the middle harvesting of your host, userid and password.

Your Linux and Mac friends are all set (their OS comes with sftp support), but for your Windows friends I recommend WinSCP.

Alternatively, you can set-up a WebDAV service under Apache. That should be accessible to all.
 
Old 09-18-2006, 11:09 PM   #8
cabe
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I think a php ftp client is what's going to work best for me. One client, net2ftp (www.net2ftp.com) looks ok.. Hopefully I can keep looking around and find something a bit more aesthetic.
 
Old 09-18-2006, 11:21 PM   #9
macemoneta
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Really? You think giving your server name, along with a valid login and password to a random web site in Belgium is OK? Why not just post the information here, it will save a lot of time in getting your system rooted.
 
Old 09-18-2006, 11:43 PM   #10
cabe
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No, I don't think it's ok, which is why I'm going to run the web ftp client on my own web server. I'd never give out my login/pass to that (or any similar) site.
 
Old 09-18-2006, 11:44 PM   #11
rickh
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Maybe you should check out the AllPeers Firefox plugin.
 
Old 09-18-2006, 11:57 PM   #12
macemoneta
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Look, it doesn't mean anything to me if your machine gets compromised, other than people will point and laugh and blame Linux.

At least protect the page that has the ftp login with SSL, so everything is not being transmitted in clear text. Remember that the userid and password will move from the web server to the ftp server in clear (readable) text, and protect that path with encryption as well, if it's on a different machine. Also remember that an ftp server that is Internet accessible is a very easy target. Make the logins and passwords highly secure (mixed case, numbers and special characters). You should probably consider moving the ftp server to a non-standard (non-privileged) high port number as well.

Good luck.
 
Old 09-19-2006, 12:15 AM   #13
Wim Sturkenboom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabe
I like to share files with my friends and sometimes like to access my computer back home when I'm on the road. I've been using FTP for this with some success, but problems occur when a good FTP client isn't avaliable on the machine I'm using. Some of my friends aren't the most computer savvy, either, so they'll even use IE to access my ftp..
Any machine I have seen since Win95 was introduced has a good FTP client. It's called ftp and runs from the command line
For your friends who use a browser, just advise them on a FTP client.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macemoneta
There is no such thing as secure login using FTP. All passwords are transmitted as clear text, which is the reason you should only use FTP for anonymous access.

For secure file transfer, you can use sftp, provided as part of the OpenSSH package. There are many packages that provide nice GUIs for sftp, for any platform. It is built into the desktops on most Linux distributions (for example, in Gnome Places->Connect to Server).
Although I agree on the comment on security, sftp does not seem to be the most user friendly solution if you want to jail the user to his/her home directory. After reading up on that, I found an alternative in vsftpd with SSL. It only took me a bit of time to find a client for windows.
 
Old 09-19-2006, 12:27 AM   #14
cabe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macemoneta
Look, it doesn't mean anything to me if your machine gets compromised, other than people will point and laugh and blame Linux.

At least protect the page that has the ftp login with SSL, so everything is not being transmitted in clear text.
That's what I plan to do.
Quote:
Originally Posted by macemoneta
Remember that the userid and password will move from the web server to the ftp server in clear (readable) text, and protect that path with encryption as well, if it's on a different machine.
Good thing it's on the same machine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by macemoneta
Also remember that an ftp server that is Internet accessible is a very easy target.
Good thing it's not internet accessable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by macemoneta
Make the logins and passwords highly secure (mixed case, numbers and special characters).
My admin login will of course have a secure p/w, while my friends will use something easy for them to remember. That account will only have read access, and only in specified directories. I take that back, that account will have write access in a single uploads directory.
Quote:
Originally Posted by macemoneta
Good luck.
Thanks!
 
Old 09-19-2006, 12:35 AM   #15
cabe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wim Sturkenboom
Any machine I have seen since Win95 was introduced has a good FTP client. It's called ftp and runs from the command line
For your friends who use a browser, just advise them on a FTP client.
The problem is that my friends don't know what the command line is. Recommending a FTP clint has not worked for the most part. Some of them aren't even willing to download a FTP client. For the ones who have been, I've had to walk them through the whole procedure of installing it only to have them give up and use a web browser anyway. Then they complain when they can't get Firefox to download a whole directory at once.

My goal is something that's totally self explanatory and idiot proof. It seems my friends' preferred method of accessing my shared files is a web browser, and since web browsers do http better than ftp, I believe my solution is going to involve a webserver.

Last edited by cabe; 09-19-2006 at 12:41 AM.
 
  


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