need help setting up simple ftp server

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need help setting up simple ftp server

Postposted on Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:26 pm

So I'm trying to set-up a simple FTP server so that my sister and I can share files across the country using my Windows 7 Home Premium x64 computer. Oh, and this thread search approved.

I'm using Filezilla and am connected through the Internet via a Speedtouch 516ADSL modem. No router. I get Filezilla configured and started, but am having some problems connecting through my own browser getting a "connection timed out error. The server at XX.XXX.XXX.XX is taking too long to respond."

Filezilla server is running. I connect using the default 127.0.0.1:14147 and it's running. Users and shared drives configured.

In Windows Firewall, I've set Filezilla to both home/work (private) and public.

In my modem settings, I've configured both FTP and Filezilla to point to my computer, Corey.
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And here you can see my computers settings:
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In Filezilla -> Edit -> Settings -> General Settings -> IP bindings, "Bind the server to the following IP address", I set this to my external IP, the one that my sister would be using when she connects.

In General settings -> Passive Mode settings, "External Server IP Address for passive mode transfers:", I set it to: "Use the following IP" and entered my external IP. "Don't use external IP for local connections" has been unchecked.

I'm a little stumped. It should be pretty straight forward, but I've been banging my head against this for a while. Can you guys offer any help? I can take what ever print screens you need.
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Re: need help setting up simple ftp server

Postposted on Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:28 pm

Have you considered an alternate solution to FTP? It's old and finicky (as you have no doubt seen).

SFTP is secure and very easy to configure and use. wikipedia has a nice long list of possible servers. For clients I like to use WinSCP when in windows but again there are many others available. I believe filezilla itself will connect over SFTP.

You would forward port 22 rather than 21 but other than that installing the server should be about all you have to do. No bothering with active or passive mode, no dealing with binding to the right address and since it's much more secure you don't need to worry so much about other people getting in.
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Re: need help setting up simple ftp server

Postposted on Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:58 am

edit: looked a bit into this just before I head off to work. Filezilla client supports SFTP, but not FIlezilla server. Any recommendations on a good free server? (that's easy to use for a n00b like me?)
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Re: need help setting up simple ftp server

Postposted on Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:30 am

Checking the Wackypedia list shows me two free ones that look reasonably easy to set up, at least based on their descriptions:

CopSSH (open source)
Core FTP Mini SFTP Server (freeware)
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Re: need help setting up simple ftp server

Postposted on Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:22 am

My SFTP server runs on a linux box so I can't give great recommendations but copSSH looks to be quite easy to work with and clearly supports 64 bit windows 7.

I downloaded and installed it; it's very straight forward and comes with some nice sane defaults. Some catches in case you're not sure what is happening during the installer:

-The installer will prompt you to create an account to run the copSSH server under. This is good since that account won't be allowed to log into your computer and if there is a security hole the damage will be limited.
-By default no users can login via SSH. You run an activate users program to allow accounts access. Make sure your sister already has an account before running this program. During activation copSSH will create a public/private keypair. This is normal; if you place the private key on another computer you can log into ssh without a password. It isn't necessary but nice to have if you log in a lot.
-The default directory is a bit strange. You can change it in C:\Program files(x86)\ICW\etc\passwd. You're going to need a real unix editor, I recommend Notepad++. It's available from portable apps so you don't have to install it. Find the line with your sister's account (likely the last one) and edit the default directory to the one you want. The columns are separated by colons and the row you want to edit will say /home/[sister's username]. If you want to make her default directory her windows home directory you would change it to /cygdrive/c/Users/[sister's username]. Don't use any directories with spaces.
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Re: need help setting up simple ftp server

Postposted on Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:17 pm

Make sure the "FileZilla server" is the server EXE not the GUI exe, both in your firewall rules and the router configuration. Not sure how that games/applications thing work in your modem (I think it has a router built in too), but you need to open port 20 and 21 for "active" mode and another range of ports (plus 21, or any other port that you want your FTP server to listen to) higher up for passive mode (and match that up with FileZilla server settings). So depending on how your router manages the ports not sure what further things to tell you yet.

You can generate your own cert and use FTPS/FTPES to make your FTP connection a little bit more secure. It is fairly easy to set up and to use with FileZilla server+client.
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Re: need help setting up simple ftp server

Postposted on Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:39 pm

Flying Fox wrote:Make sure the "FileZilla server" is the server EXE not the GUI exe, both in your firewall rules and the router configuration. Not sure how that games/applications thing work in your modem (I think it has a router built in too), but you need to open port 20 and 21 for "active" mode and another range of ports (plus 21, or any other port that you want your FTP server to listen to) higher up for passive mode (and match that up with FileZilla server settings).


Did that, made sure "server" exe was added along with the gui exe. The games/applications thing is an exception rule. no, no router, it's only got 1 out/no wireless. Ports 21 and 22 were open. Doesn't seem to matter though, out of frustration I disabled both my Windows 7 firewall and the modem's firewall, still couldn't get Filezilla or FreeFTP to work. So I seem to have some other underlying issue (perhaps the issue lies between the keyboard and the chair?). I'm gonna get a friend to come over on the weekend and help me get this figured out.

I'll update this once we figure out what the problem was.

Thanks guys.
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Re: need help setting up simple ftp server

Postposted on Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:27 am

Ok, now this is weird. I tried pinging my external IP from my computer. Request timed out. Disabled my Windows 7 firewall and my DSL Firewall. Request still timed out. If I enter my computer's internal IP, it pings just fine. (I've heard this is common with DSL modems, an internal and external IP...my modem is NOT a router, there is only one port to connect, no wireless).

So I can't ping my external IP, so that explains my problems with getting an FTP/SFTP up. So, can anyone suggest any ideas on how I can successfully ping my external IP?


EDIT: I seem to recall DSL modems change IP's every time they're re-started and it looks like mine just changed IP's. When I enter in ftp:/external IP, I now get the username/password screen and when I enter myself, I get a f 530 permission denied...I know my user account is set up.

Gah!
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Re: need help setting up simple ftp server

Postposted on Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:55 am

When you say you can ping your computer's internal IP, are you referring to the 127.0.0.1 address? That's not really an internal IP, that's what's known as a "loopback" address; by convention, it always refers to the system you're running on. Typically when people refer to an internal IP, they mean the private IP address assigned to the system on a LAN (this is typically 192.168.x.x). The external IP is the IP address assigned to your router (or to your system, if you are connected directly to the Internet without a router).

Is your external IP pingable from the Internet? (If you'd like me to try it from here, post your external IP... or PM it to me if you're not comfortable posting it on a public forum.)
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Re: need help setting up simple ftp server

Postposted on Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:32 am

Something else you might be interested in is Dynamic DNS, which will assign a hostname to your external IP address. It's a lot easier to remember a name than an IP, and probably most of the services offer a program that will periodically refresh their database when your IP address changes.

My router's firmware (Tomato) supports DynDNS.org's service (and several others) itself, so I just had to tell the router about it and not bother with keeping a program running on the computer all the time. The factory firmware supported a smaller number of services; maybe yours will as well.
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Re: need help setting up simple ftp server

Postposted on Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:53 am

Sargent Duck wrote:EDIT: I seem to recall DSL modems change IP's every time they're re-started and it looks like mine just changed IP's. When I enter in ftp:/external IP, I now get the username/password screen and when I enter myself, I get a f 530 permission denied...I know my user account is set up.

Getting to the username/password screen you are only halfway there. After you get this hostname/IP issue solved, make sure you can do a directory listing and/or transfer a file. You said you have set up port 20 and 21 for the "exception" (a NAT device is kind of a router already), so make sure the client chooses Active mode instead of Passive.
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