FTP server gone from High Sierra

Discussion in 'macOS High Sierra (10.13)' started by Rankrotten, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Rankrotten macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2006
    Just a heads up that the FTP server functionality has been removed from High Sierra. Wish this had been documented as I used it to wifi pictures from my DSLR to MacBook Pro using live ingest on Photo Mechanic.

    With Sierra and previous OS X installs you could enable the FTP service by entering a command in the terminal

    • sudo -s launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ftp.plist
    but High Sierra completely removes the service. Need to get a third party server application installed now.
  2. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    All i can say is...... good.

    FTP needs to die in a fire, about 15-20 years ago.

    I get that it is convenient and sorry you’ve run into issues with it, but its insecure and there have been way better alternatives for literally decades at this point. And its not just security issues, FTP doesn’t play well with NAT, firewalls, etc.
  3. DamianHarty macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2017
    And this is why we can't have nice things.

    1) How about a little 1 line script from Apple that says "Command line FTP is no longer supported. Please try another service for transferring files."?

    2) How about instead of industrial grade snark, you literally suggest one of the better alternatives that has worked for you in a scripted context. Because there is literally no other reason to use it, is there?

    There have been better alternatives to snarky internet fora for literally quite a long time. I just search for stuff and skip past the snark to the actual information. So, now I know that ftp has actually been deleted, but of course I got that from the first post. It was all I needed. You are wasting your life typing up your snark. I suspect I am literally the only person who will read it. But don't worry, you don't get to interact with my life again as I will never log into MacRumors again - why would I, when I can search literally all the posts without doing that.

    Your mother told me she is very proud of you, by the way.

    Happy Thanksgiving.
  4. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    FTP has been considered harmful and alternatives have existed for about 20 years now.

    The time is well beyond past for it to be forcibly removed.

    Alternatives include ssh/scp, https, http, etc.
  5. MacGizmo macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2003
    Wait, you're saying http is more secure than FTP? LOL. C'mon dude...
  6. throAU, Nov 25, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017

    throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    No you’d do https for that.

    However http is just as secure as FTP and works properly through NAT firewalls without needing deep pocket inspection.

    Seriously, FTP is one of the most brain damaged protocols ever designed.

    Embedding the Ip address into the command stream, original use of two connections for a single session, etc.

    It’s totally brain damaged.

    If you’re desperate to hang on to brain damaged tech, compile and install one of the many FTP daemons from source.
  7. himynameisjuan macrumors newbie


    Nov 14, 2017
    Was using FTP to scan from my Canon. Any suggestions to get scanning working again?
  8. tyche macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2010
    Get a FTP server for macOS. There are lots. There's bound to be some in the Mac Store as well. The trick is understanding how to set them up so the root folder is reachable from the camera/scanner/whatever device.
  9. rubenerd macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2006
    Commenting here because this is among the first search engine results for High Sierra.

    Regardless of its technical merits and the "brain damaged" hyperbole from throAU above, FTP is still heavily used in legacy applications and embedded hardware. Telnet too, FYI.

    If you use Homebrew, ncftp is a very nice replacement client. My only issue was it doesn't read .netrc files, but you can create what it calls "bookmarks" pretty easily using the bookmark command once you've logged in interactively.

    For servers, proftpd is the easiest. It even comes with a launchd service.

    The other option is to build the original ftp(1) yourself, which is also easy enough.
  10. slylandro_probe macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2018
    Both Telnet and FTP are available again in High Sierra via Homebrew, thanks to this pull request. It includes the server and client of each protocol.
  11. toru173 macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2007
    I had a red-faced moment when showing off the High Sierra beta to a linux nerd. I tried to telnet to something to demonstrate how similar it was to linux and... nothing. Boy was I embarrassed! Of course, the Apple hyperbole kicked in to high gear and I mumbled something about "depreciating legacy technologies, like the floppy disk."

    In all seriousness, though, I wish they'd tell us these things. Yes, ancient software like FTP and telnet are horribly insecure - but they are still part of many user's workflow.
  12. slylandro_probe, Jan 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018

    slylandro_probe macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2018
    Yes, I know the feeling, minus the embarrassment in front of Linux fans. Honestly, Linux folks can sit there and criticize macOS all day long, but they really need to get their act together in terms of making their system palatable and sane. Not to mention the unholy licensing issues that pervade their community caused by the GPL. The state of Linux reminds me of this essay from the days of Unix yore.

    macOS still has many kinks and quirks to be sure, but one of the main technical complaints that I had (the filesystem) is mitigated with APFS and OpenZFS. Moreover, other systems like FreeBSD, Solaris, illumos, QNX, Multics(!), Lisp machines, and many others have a significant leg-up on Linux in many technical areas. So Linux people can brag all day about their system's superiority, but Linux (and even Unix) only ever got popular because of cultural and emotional reasons, not objective superiority over contemporary systems.

    And all this is coming from someone who cut their computing teeth on Linux and was crazy about it for quite some time.


    Aaanyway you can now enjoy your old, insecure programs once again ;)

    brew install tnftp tnftpd telnet telnetd
  13. applCore macrumors regular


    May 3, 2011
  14. datagen macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2009
    Agreed, I am beginning to notice more and more features being taken out due to security. This is forcing you to buy third party apps to get it working again.
  15. mlody macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2012
    Windy City
    I agree that FTP should die long time ago. Each year our company goes through security/vulnerability audit, port 21 is one of the things we get dinged for.
  16. oliversl macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    Need to update my local UPS, won't use nat. ftp is still needed
  17. throAU, Jun 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018

    throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Use filezilla and sftp mode (i.e., file transfer over SSH) instead. Or SCP if you're command line.

    It is 100% well past time to abandon this protocol.

    SCP will even give you compression on the transfers. See "man scp"

    If FTP is part of your workflow, better, faster, included with macOS alternatives exist, and have for about 20 years at this point.
  18. toru173 macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2007
    I was working on another side project when I figured this out, and thought of this thread. You can grab a copy of the macOS Sierra installer, mount the InstallESD dmg and use:

    pkgutil --expand-full /Volumes/InstallESD/Packages/Core.pkg ~/Desktop/Staging
    Then go rooting through ~/Desktop/Staging/Payload/bin for all your legacy app needs. Trash the rest

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