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William A. Rowe, Jr. ASF Member, httpd and APR projects Sr. Software Engineer, Covalent Technologies. Apache HTTP mod_ftp. FTP Overview. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is an efficient protocol for transferring files over a TCP/IP network

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William a rowe jr asf member httpd and apr projects sr software engineer covalent technologies l.jpg

William A. Rowe, Jr.ASF Member, httpd and APR projectsSr. Software Engineer, Covalent Technologies

Apache HTTP mod_ftp

Ftp overview l.jpg
FTP Overview

  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is an efficient protocol for transferring files over a TCP/IP network

  • Unlike HTTP, FTP is designed to handle binary files directly without encoding and decoding data

  • FTP session can be initiated over a command line, using graphical tools or via the Web Browser

  • Need to have a login account on the FTP server machine, or login as “anonymous”

  • Several FTP commands for manipulating files

    • STOR, DELE, LIST, RMD, MKD etc.

Shortcomings of traditional ftp l.jpg

Lacks in enterprise integration, security and performance

Need to have a parallel management infrastructure for serving FTP

User administration

Logging, log rotation


Many do not support FTP restart

Monolithic architecture, missing extensibility

Shortcomings of traditional FTP

Mod ftp overview l.jpg
mod_ftp overview

Fully RFC Compliant FTP implementation powered by Apache 2.0 (RFC: 959, 1123, 2228, 2389)‏

  • Leverages the new architecture of Apache 2, whereby content serving protocols are also modules now

  • Same instance of Apache can serve FTP, Secure FTP as well as HTTP and HTTPS.

  • Many FTP clients supported for SSL

    • CuteFTP, WSFTP Pro etc.

  • Supports FTP restart

Mod ftp additional features l.jpg
mod_ftp Additional Features

  • FTP over SSL

  • Extensive authentication and authorization support

  • Dynamic content

  • Robust and known API

    • Allows for extensive expandability

    • Leverages Apache web server popularity

    • Extensible with module integration, mod_perl

Ftp over ssl l.jpg
FTP over SSL

  • mod_ftp leverages mod_ssl to encrypt traffic

    • Digital Certificates (X.509)‏

  • Explicit SSL

    • Server accepts both encrypted and unencrypted connections

  • Implicit SSL

    • Server accepts encrypted SSL connections only

    • User must connect using SSL, port 990 by default

Config example l.jpg
Config Example

ServerName ftphost.mydomain:21

ServerRoot /path/to/server/$(ServerName)

ServerAdmin [email protected]

DocumentRoot "/path/to/server/$(ServerName)/ftpdocs"

<Directory />

Options FollowSymLinks

AllowOverride None


<Directory "/path/to/server/$(ServerName)/ftpdocs">


Order deny,allow

Deny from all



LoadModule ftp_module /path/modules/mod_ftp.so

LogFormat "%u [%a] %r" cmd_log

LogFormat "%{%b %e %H:%M:%S %Y}t %T %a %B %U %M %F %d %W %u %S %Z %Y" trans_log

Config example continued l.jpg
Config Example continued

Listen 21

<VirtualHost _default_:21>

DocumentRoot "/path/to/ftpdocs"


ErrorLog logs/ftp_error_log

CustomLog logs/ftp_command_log cmd_log

CustomLog logs/ftp_transfer_log transfer_log env=do_trans_log

<Directory "/path/to/ftpdocs">

<IfModule mod_authz_file.c>

AuthType Basic

AuthName "FTP Authentication"

AuthUserFile "/path/to/ftp_userfile"

Require valid-user




Good references l.jpg
Good References





Contact and followup l.jpg
Contact and Followup


[email protected]

IRC help at irc.freenode.net #apache

Peer help at [email protected]