ftp with Mac OS X Server? I'll pass.

Apple UNIX

When I took over doing support while we look for someone to replace our network admin, I was excited, for a moment, about playing with Mac OS X Server. For a quick moment. The first thing I know, I get a phone call from a remote user who cannot reach the server with ftp. I fire up Workgroup Manager and Server Admin to make sure the user’s account is active, and that ftp is in fact running, and that the firewall is not blocking any of the ftp ports. Everything is a go. I reset the password, and think that was the problem. I ask the user (on the phone) to try and log in, but no luck. I then bust out Cyberduck (my new favorite FTP client..thanks Ken!) and try to connect. No go. “Server shut down” Wild. I stop and start the service a few times, look at the logs…everything looks fine. I start to remember how much I love Mac OS X Server. Don’t worry, I am sure “it will be fixed in 10.4”. Right.

At this point I decided to look at other ftp servers out there, but then I realize how much of a pain it will be to add 50+ users, and I am not one to let Mac OS X Server to win so I forge on. I do a search at Apple’s support web site in seach for an answer to why the ftp process is not running, but Server Admin says it is. Not too much in the mailing lists (for once) nor google, so I head off to my last resort, the Apple Discussions before I write into the macosx-server list. Thankfully I found someone with the exact problem, and a solution which also fixes my problem. I still cannot figure out the miscommunication between Server Admin and the actual process, but at least it is working.

Again with my refrain…how do you screw something up like that when ftp (like httpd) is so straightforward in Mac OS X Client?

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