FTP Server Service On Windows 7

In my day-to-day adventures as Your Linux Guy in a Windows World, I commonly find myself needing to transfer files between workstations of disparate environments (such as test labs, etc.).

For instance, working in an semi-isolated lab of Windows 7 desktops, I found myself needing to transfer result files to and from a Windows 7 machine and my Linux-based routing appliance.  Of course, the routing appliance didn’t have an ftp daemon, but it did have an ftp client.  So the easiest thing for me to do in this situation was to configure the FTP service on the Windows 7 workstation for the duration of the testing.

Since I just know I’m going to need to remember how to do this quickly again some day, I thought I’d pass it along to you all as well.  Here’s what I did:

  • Open Control Panel, and under “Programs and Features” -> “Turn Windows features on or off”
  • Expand “Internet Information Services”, expand “FTP Server”, and check the box to add “FTP service”
  • Next, under “Internet Information Services”, expand “Web Management Tools”, and check the box to add “IIS Management Console”
  • Click OK to continue, and let it do its thing
  • Once installed, go to “Administrative tools” -> “Internet Information Services Manager”
  • At this point, you can customize some settings, add a certificate if you wish (you can create a self-signed certificate for internal use, under “Server Certificates” – > “Create Self-Signed Certificate”), etc., or just skip to creating your ftp site.
  • In the IIS  Manager, Right-click on your computer name at top left, and choose “Add FTP site”, and go through the wizard.
  • You could name it “My FTP site”, path as c:\inetpub\ftproot, and so on, depending on your needs.

…I’ll leave the custom FTP server choices to you, but once you go through the rest of the setup, you should be good to go.  I’m not going to give you an FTP server security lecture, but you should be mindful of these things, of course.  …especially since you need to open your local Windows firewall to accommodate the FTP service for remote computers…

Also note that when you go to connect via ftp to the new service, unless you set a default domain, you might need to log in with your computer name in the login, like “mylaptop\jeremy” or whatever.

Enjoy, and I hope that helps!



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