FTP on Mountain Lion

Just a quick note to declare that Troncept’s OS X Lion FTPD Enable app it’s still working on the latest OS X Moutain Lion operatig system from Apple.

You may remember my previous post on how-to restore the FTP File Sharing on Mac OS X 10.7 “LION”.

Only thing is that to make this work you’ll have to modify your Gatekeeper’s Settings to allow (the execution of) applications downloaded from everywhere on the Internet and not only the ones by the Mac AppStore of identified developers.

Given the (apparent) renewed interest of cracker’s on the Cupertino’s OS this is a setting you’ll be better to not forget every time you’ll download and install an app from the Web.

restore FTP file sharing on Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion”

In the flood of new and different features and functionalities introduced with Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” there have also been important ones regarding the Document Sharing. The AFP is still there, untouched. Things begin to change with with SMB which now sports an ad-hoc server/client wrote from Apple since the GPLv3 licence adoption by project Samba – adottato dal 10.2 al 10.6 – per le nuove release dei suoi prodotti e le sue possibili implicazioni legali nel suo utilizzo [fonte].

The FTP protocol support, instead… puff! Vanished! But, as usual, one have always to remember that Apple lies!

(well, it was Finder lies! until now but, seeing things evolving, and maturing my knowledge of the platform, seems that the assumption can be made to their entire system).

The FTP daemon is still present in the system, hidden to user’s sight, and with the due methods still ready to be used. Apple enterely moved away it’s graphical use management tool (even if minimal) and leave the use to deal with the CLI to discourage it’s use. FTP protocol, in fact, is insicure transmitting our username and password credeantial in clear form, allowing anyone interested to be able to catch them!

But let’s go back to the issue. If you need the FTP protocol on your machine just open up Terminal.app and give this command:

sudo /usr/libexec/ftpd -D

and when you want to stop ip give this command, instead:

sudo killall ftpd

Now, if enabling/disablong the service is easy it’s configuration isn’t that easy (for the generic user). If you remember in Snow Leopard (and previous systems) we had this interface to enable/disable it and to choose the users enabled to use that service:

ftp Now, instead, we have to manually configure the daemon.

man ftpd

is our best ally and we have to study it well, expecially if our machine is directly connected over the internet. When in local network, instead, the default setting are reasonably safe.  To his personal use, and to people wanting easy way to manage all of this, Troncept has created the Lion FTPD Enable application that, in few clicks, does the job of graphically manage the FTP daemon. In this few months’ of Lion’s life, in fact, they’ve pushed out many realease of this tool, enhancing it step by step.Lion FTPD Enable app At the time of writing this post (after having it in the draft closet for a while) we’re near to 1.0 release and I’ve got in contact with his author for a small interview and tool insight!

In the end, if you need FTP to be consistent with your workflow OR if you need this protocol active on your Mac to be able to use the shared scanning features of your multifunction printer/fax/scanner at home or in office you can safely bet that using this tools will help you!

I’ve successfully managed to re-use Brother, Ricoh and Konica Minolta network scanners on different Macs!

Mac OS X Lion’s FTP managemet

I can’t remember right now doing this on earlier versions of Mac OS X but who knows? It could be that it’s always has been this way!

Today I wanted to browse a FTP repository. Forgetting to be in Safari I copied the URL in the address bar. Instead of launching Cyberduck (my default FTP client) like it happened to me countless times before a Finder’s login window appeared to me.

I choose ‘guest’ as user and voilà, the FTP repo was mounted on my desktop, showing itself in the left sidebar of the Finder.

Look at the screenshots!


FTP Server Login via browser

a useful javascript In the last couple of days I’ve been busy setting up an FTP server upon with a number of people could browse a group of directory and their files.

To achieve this I gave trust to pureftpd using a virtual users configurations, since my users won’t need a shell on the machine, following a clear howto found on the web regarding an Ubuntu server configuration.

Clearly to my superior a “plain” access via a normal ftp client (filezilla, cyberduck, name the one) wasn’t enough. He wanted the possibility to browse those files and directory also via the nowadays ever present web browser.

Authenticating the users. Which aren’t system users, or Apache’s defined one. They are from the pureFTPd daemon, and also virtual!! :-D

So I had to throw away the use of an .htaccess writted ad-hoc and I begun the search of a premade script that, accepting the couple of parameters username and password inputed from a simple web form would do a parsing and give an URL to my browser in the syntax of the classic ftp://username:password@ftp-host.

Thanks to my pal Nicola D’Agostino I found a specific javascript that have proved to be THE solution I was searching: THIS.

So, if you’ll ever need this, now you know where to search!