FTPFS (Part 1)


Since my house is wired for gigabit Ethernet with cat 6 cable at great cost, it seems a crime to use rsync/SFTP/SCP for file transfers with in the LAN, they both operate rather slowly in comparison to plain unsecured file transfer protocols like FTP. It never ceases to amaze me how ever experienced web masters do no realize how insecure FTP really is. No doubt they are mislead by names like 'Very Secure FTP server". They are anything but.

No File System (NFS) is not something that I want to use either. If FTP is insecure, this is worse, you don't even need a username and password for NFS. And some people even call this the Network File System.

Having said all that, it wouldn't really matter that about the security because all this happens inside my LAN. If someone is able to snoop in on  packets in my LAN, I am in deep trouble anyway. In fact that did almost happen a month or two ago, but more on it later.

When you forget the security concerns, NFS doesn't seem such a bad option. But you still need to cope with  UIDs getting mixed up and the associated mess. FTP doesn't have that problem but it's much harder to use than SCP or rsync. One option would be to mount a remote FTP folder so that it shows up like a local folder like you can with SSHFS.

One simple solution is to connect to the FTP server using nautilus. Then the remote file system is automatically mounted under ~/.gvfs by Gnome Virtual File System , but then you need to use a 'gvfs aware' program to access the files and folder under that mount point. Many existings scripts and programs (example cat, cp ) cannot handle those files.

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