Chapter 26. FTP
26.1. The File Transfer Protocol
sftpfrom the OpenSSH suite of tools. For information about configuring OpenSSH, refer to Chapter 20, OpenSSH.
26.1.1. Multiple Ports, Multiple Modes
- active mode
- Active mode is the original method used by the FTP protocol for transferring data to the client application. When an active mode data transfer is initiated by the FTP client, the server opens a connection from port 20 on the server to the IP address and a random, unprivileged port (greater than 1024) specified by the client. This arrangement means that the client machine must be allowed to accept connections over any port above 1024. With the growth of insecure networks, such as the Internet, the use of firewalls to protect client machines is now prevalent. Because these client-side firewalls often deny incoming connections from active mode FTP servers, passive mode was devised.
- passive mode
- Passive mode, like active mode, is initiated by the FTP client application. When requesting data from the server, the FTP client indicates it wants to access the data in passive mode and the server provides the IP address and a random, unprivileged port (greater than 1024) on the server. The client then connects to that port on the server to download the requested information.While passive mode resolves issues for client-side firewall interference with data connections, it can complicate administration of the server-side firewall. You can reduce the number of open ports on a server by limiting the range of unprivileged ports on the FTP server. This also simplifies the process of configuring firewall rules for the server. Refer to Section 18.104.22.168, “Network Options” for more about limiting passive ports.