File Sharing and FTP

Discussion in 'macOS' started by applecow, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. applecow macrumors member

    May 23, 2007
    My goal is to be able to share designated files with another user who is on an entirely different network (my house and his house basically). I tried setting up File Sharing and have it enabled. From there on, I have no idea how to give him access as well as other users access by means of a login and password. Is there anyway to set something like this up either by means of having FTP or something similar where they can access my files?

    Thank you

    I am running Leopard on a MacBook Pro
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    This is doable but it requires some effort.

    File Sharing only works on your particular subnet, so I'd turn that off. What you need is either an FTP server or a WebDAV solution, much like the MobileMe iDisk. Mac OS X Server can do this, but that would probably be overkill for your needs. You could also use peer-to-peer technologies (P2P).
  3. applecow thread starter macrumors member

    May 23, 2007
    How do I go about turning off the subnet?

    Unfortunately I don't have MobileMe, but I've setup FTP servers on Windows with a reasonable amount of ease. Is the process for setting up a FTP server on Leopard hard?

    I honestly just need this to be on and off when I want and will be sharing several files that are too large to host elsewhere and cannot be physically transported.

    Would this work?

    I can simply do away with the login/password, and just host the file from the Leopard's Apache server. I have a plug-in with Adium called AdiTunes that generates a link that will point the person whom I've sent it to to a site that is hosted on my computer/network and is streaming the song that was playing at the particular moment the link was generated. I am going to assume that I can host files and the client can download.

    Is there anyway I can "upload" a file ready to be downloaded and just forget about all the logging in problems?
  4. woodlandtrek macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2008
    If you are open to third party software, I would try PureFTPd Manager. It even allows virtual users so you don't have to create user accounts on your mac for everyone you want to give access through FTP. The hardest part is configuring your router to forward the correct ports, but there are instructions on the website to help out.
  5. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    If I were sharing files from my machine to the 'net, I would do the following...

    1 - Set up a machine on my network as a "DMZ" machine
    2 - Enable the OS X firewall on that machine and allow whatever service I needed for my end users to get their files, ftp, httpd or whatever.
    3 - Edit my router settings using airport utility to allow incoming connections to the DMZ machine. If you aren't using an Apple router, point a web browser at your "default gateway" and you can edit your settings through the browser. If you don't know your admin password, you can find default admin passwords from the manufacturer of your router. Often they are printed on the label.
    4 - Enable ftp or apache on the "DMZ" machine and put the file where it needs to be for the outside user(s) to get it. When you enable Apache, it runs as "nobody" so the file permissions need to be world readable on the file you are sharing and world readable and executable for all of the parent directories of the file you are sharing. Sharing something in your home folder via http is not a good idea. It's better to put the files in a common area and use a symbolic link to make it "look like" the files are in your home folder. This way programs that expect the files to be in your home folder can see them, but apache can also see them without compromising the security of your home folder. Similar guidelines are true for ftpd. If you share something in your home folder by ftpd, it should be in a "common area". On the Mac there is the folder users/shared. I would put shared things there then go in the "security and permissions" dialog of "get info" and make sure everyone can read the files. Symbolic link creation is done in terminal. Let's say you want to share huge quicktime movie files. You would create the folder /users/shared/movies.
    You would create a link in your home folder as follows...
    ln -s /users/shared/movies movies

    This creates an object that looks like a folder in your home area but it's really a link to a public area where you store the movies. Whenever you save a movie there, it shows up where outsiders can see it. Lastly, you might have to change the permissions on each and every movie to allow them to be read by others. I know this sounds like a pain. Sorry. A much bigger pain can arise when you circumvent OS X security because you don't want to "bother with it".

    I would not make my primary machine the "dmz" machine unless I didn't have a choice. In that case, I would turn off the "dmz" setting when I was done sharing the file(s). What is DMZ you ask? If you set a machine up as dmz, it is as if it was exposed to the raw internet. Incoming packets are all forwarded to that machine, including worms and various attempts at hacking.

Share This Page