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Thread: ProFtpd vs. VsFtpd

  1. #1
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    ProFtpd vs. VsFtpd

    I am about to put an FTP solution in place and I've been doing some research. I know there are a lot of solutions out there, but here is my criteria:

    1. SECURE - This is critical. I plan to do an FTP over SSL (FTPS) implementation. This server will reside in a DMZ.
    2. Well-documented - I'm fairly new at this. I've been using Linux on the desktop for a few years now and I have a little experience managing an Ubuntu server, but I need somewhere to turn if I get stuck.
    3. Good community support - goes hand-in-hand with the previous point about documentation.
    4. Not too hard for end-users who will be connecting to the server - I need to be able to walk semi-savvy users through the process of connecting to my FTP server using common clients such as Core FTP, Filezilla, CuteFTP, etc.

    I've narrowed it down to ProFtpd and VsFtpd. Can anyone make any recommendations as to one over the other? Are there any key features that differentiate them? One thing that I heard about VsFtpd that I like is that there is a Webmin plugin available for managing the server. I have Webmin set up on another Ubuntu server and I use it for general admin, Apache, and MySQL. It would be nice to centralize on that platform if possible. I'd really appreciate any advice.
    Last edited by chrisinspace; July 16th, 2009 at 03:03 PM. Reason: sp
    “You tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is: never try.” --Homer Simpson

  2. #2
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    Re: ProFtpd vs. VsFtpd

    I'd really like to get moving on this. Does anyone have any feedback? I'm hoping the community can help point me in the right direction.
    “You tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is: never try.” --Homer Simpson

  3. #3
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    Re: ProFtpd vs. VsFtpd

    You've already done all research. What do you expect? That we toss a coin for you?

    I personally would not bother with FTP at all and stick to OpenSSH instead. The entire exercise with setting up a FTP server and enabling SSL certificates so you'd get "FTPS" seems highly redundant to me, when instead you could simply stick to SSH and use SFTP which already provides this functionality right out of the box.

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    Re: ProFtpd vs. VsFtpd

    I've got to agree with scorp123 on this one. SFTP meets all the things you have listed, plus it has numerous clients available for virtually every platform. FTP with security is a hacked abomination of an already pretty old and broken protocol. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FTPS for more details, especially the section about "Firewall incompatibilities". If your goal is to provide a secure way for users to connect, using SFTP is a great way to go, and it will allow you to use PAM for authentication, so you can use MySQL, LDAP, or whatever else you want for auth.

    If that's not to your liking, you can try using WebDAV with Apache2. If you're trying to setup FTP for web developers, then this is a great alternative, as it allows them to directly edit the files they can then view through their hosted sites. Here's a link to help with that: http://www.howtoforge.com/how-to-set...on-ubuntu-8.10.

    I guess to be fair though, if the only thing you want to compare are ProFtpd and VsFtpd, then its really a matter of personal preference. They both use standards, both have decent records as far as security is concerned, both have been around for a while, and they both have a ton of documentation and features. Try them both and let us know which one you choose and why.

  5. #5
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    Re: ProFtpd vs. VsFtpd

    There's a webmin module for proftpd that comes built-in to webmin. I believe the vsftpd module is third-party.

    I've always used proftpd or pure-ftpd, and been happy with both.

  6. #6
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    Re: ProFtpd vs. VsFtpd

    Quote Originally Posted by scorp123 View Post
    You've already done all research. What do you expect? That we toss a coin for you?
    Actually, I was hoping maybe you'd just volunteer to come install it for me.

    @scorp123 and giggins,

    My goal is to enable users to move one large file (~100MB) a day. They'll be expecting to use an FTP client. Will SFTP work for that? I found these instructions:

    http://blog.markvdb.be/2009/01/sftp-...in-9-easy.html

    Does that look right? After it is set up do you just control user access by creating local users on the Ubuntu server?

    Once I get the files on the Ubuntu server they have to be read by an application on a Windows machine. I'm guessing I'll have to set up Samba for that. Will that open up more security vulnerabilities?

    Sorry for the string of questions, but I'm new to Linux server administration. I don't want to fall back to MS Server just because that's what I know. I'm trying to use this as an opportunity to pick up some new skills.
    Last edited by chrisinspace; July 16th, 2009 at 09:14 PM. Reason: more info
    “You tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is: never try.” --Homer Simpson

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    Re: ProFtpd vs. VsFtpd

    Quote Originally Posted by lykwydchykyn View Post
    There's a webmin module for proftpd that comes built-in to webmin. I believe the vsftpd module is third-party.
    Didn't know that. Thanks.
    “You tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is: never try.” --Homer Simpson

  8. #8
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    Re: ProFtpd vs. VsFtpd

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisinspace View Post
    My goal is to enable users to move one large file (~100MB) a day. They'll be expecting to use an FTP client.
    Use WinSCP ... it has a easy to use interface and it can use SCP (secure-copy) and SFTP (both "scp" and "sftp" are SSH sub-protocols).

    http://winscp.net/


    If you want a command-line client for Windows (so you could use it in batch jobs), you could use "Putty". It has SCP and SFTP clients (e.g. "pscp.exe"):

    http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/
    Last edited by scorp123; July 17th, 2009 at 05:45 AM.

  9. #9
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    Smile Re: ProFtpd vs. VsFtpd

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisinspace View Post
    My goal is to enable users to move one large file (~100MB) a day. They'll be expecting to use an FTP client. Will SFTP work for that? I found these instructions:
    I am using VsFtpd, and did not faced any problem. Also it transfers the data at good enough speed. Mostly I am downloading from my Debian server, But a very few times I have uploaded.
    With cuteFTP client it gives me access to create/modify my files as logged in user home folder.

  10. #10
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    Re: ProFtpd vs. VsFtpd

    If you plan to chroot your users, then its easier to setup a FTP server, than to chroot an instance of the SSH server. ProFTPD and VSFTPD have both an inbuilt feature to chroot your logins.

    I have both servers in productive use, both are very stable and secure servers. I prefer ProFTPD, because of its SQL- and LDAP-Features. But on a few RHEL-instances I have VSFTPD running and no problem with it until now

    => It's your choice, think about your needs (SQL, LDAP, ...) and you don't be spoilt for choice

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