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Using the NSLU2 as an FTP server

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Network Storage Devices' started by techmanblues, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. techmanblues

    techmanblues Network Guru Member

    The FTP server capability of the NSLU2 was added unceremoniously in an upgraded release version of the firmware between R29 and R63. In my opinion, this should have warranted a new number in the firmware version instead of a Release version. I suspect that the FTP capability has always been there in the firmware right from the start but was disabled. This explains why the appearance of FTP only gets a release number because the codes for the FTP server has always been there. It only took a simple switch to turn it on.

    With that being said, I would like to start a new thread that focuses only on the FTP server of the NSLU2 because I think it is an important feature of the device. I request that the mods here to make this a sticky post.

    The first question I have is how secured is this FTP server? I know that I can create users and passwords and have each user folder private, but how easy it is to hack through this barrier? Incidentally this feature is only available at this writing if the drive connected to USB1 is EXT3.

    If you want to use the unslug version of the firmware, it offers a few FTP packages that you can use. They say that these FTP programs are more secured but since I am not a Linux person, I have not used them to vouch for their robustness in security. Any help from any members here who are familiar with Linux is appreciated.
  2. d__l

    d__l Network Guru Member

    That isn't quite correct. I'm currently FTPing to a FAT16/32-formatted, flash drive on USB Port 2. Normally the HD on USB Port 1 is powered off and is only used for back ups.

    I think I had to make some setting changes from the defaults on the NSLU2 to make this work in R63, but they were fairly obvious.
  3. techmanblues

    techmanblues Network Guru Member

    What I meant was the ability to create additional users other than the admin. I cannot do that with my R63 NSLU2 unless there is an EXT3 drive at the USB1 port.
  4. phildenholm

    phildenholm Network Guru Member

    how easy is it to set up as a FTP server this is what i want to be able to use mine for but i dont really know what im doing!
  5. techmanblues

    techmanblues Network Guru Member

    Make sure that the drive connected to the USB1 port is EXT3 formatted. It seems like we have been having a lot of problems with non-EXT3 file format drives.

    Then make sure that he firmware is Release 63. The previous one of R29 does have support FTP.

    After this, simply enable FTP server in the R63 configuration screen. Put in any security meassure.

    In the browser, type in This assume that this is the IP adress of the NSLU2.

    All this may sound simple, byt since R63 is BETA, it may not work.
  6. adobemac

    adobemac Guest

    I'm really new here (notice post #!). How could I set up my NSLU2 as ftp server behind a VPN router? I have a single static IP to my VPN router WAN. Would I just forward a port and get the security I need?
  7. techmanblues

    techmanblues Network Guru Member

    Tell the router to forward any incoming port 21 to the IP of the NSLU2.
  8. phildenholm

    phildenholm Network Guru Member

    fantastic info thanks for what has been posted so far im off to see if i can get it working, i think im only formated in etx2 though :clap:


    all sorted, just need to know how to change the admin password so that people cant hack into me when i start giving out my IP address for people to download things, anyone? :thumb:
  9. ajnodine

    ajnodine Network Guru Member

    change it in the user area :cheering:
  10. phildenholm

    phildenholm Network Guru Member

    might sound thick but i have tried that and i couldnt get it to change!

    just says "cant open file"

    Thats in the change password screen
  11. ajnodine

    ajnodine Network Guru Member

    do you click save at the bottom or save as new user
    cause when you just click save at the bottom it changes everytime
  12. phildenholm

    phildenholm Network Guru Member

    briliant, thanks!

    i was clicking save as new, amazing what you will find if you scrole down the page!
  13. malexia

    malexia Guest

    NSLU2 - FTP won't work

    Intrested discussion!!

    For the last couple of days I have been trying to access FTP on my NSLU2 but with no luck.. spent three hours web chatting to Linksys tech support.. they had no resove or answer to the problem they said they mite have an answer in about a week time so I check out this discussion and cross checked everything I have done..

    if you know a work around, please tell!!

    This is what I have done: I'm currenty running on V2.3R63 I can SMB files with out a problem.. I have reinstalled the firmware a couple times.. opened port 21 plus the NSLU2 port on my router to see it that would work.. nop! check all the IP numbers, port numbers DNS.. all fine and enable "allow anaonymous FTP login ("guest" rights) still won't work.. drive connected to the USB1 port is EXT3 formatted

    I'm lost on this one!! HELP!!!
  14. techmanblues

    techmanblues Network Guru Member

    The anonymous guest log in on my NSLU2 also does not work. It only allows people with accounts to log in with appropriate usernames and passwords. I hope Linksys is trying to debug this.
  15. phildenholm

    phildenholm Network Guru Member

    had no problems with mine at all only that my ip address keeps changing every other day, anyone any ideas what can be dont to save having to change my ftp address all the time?
  16. techmanblues

    techmanblues Network Guru Member

    Which IP? The IP of the NSLU2 or the IP of your Internet WAN account?
  17. ajnodine

    ajnodine Network Guru Member

    It has to be the internet....static ip address :eek:
  18. phildenholm

    phildenholm Network Guru Member

    yeah its my internet ip address that keeps changing anyone any ideas how to get a static one?? it changes every day really a big pain!

    Been looking at this place seemes like the sort of thing im looking for however i need a domain name too and then its starting to get expensive just to see if it works! Anyone got any other ways of getting a fixed ip address? or would i have to change ISP?
  19. epetru

    epetru Network Guru Member

    WAN IP address keeps changing

    go to www.no-ip.com and set up an ftp account. It will check the changing WAN IP. You will then use the no-ip account to access the NSL.

    EXAMPLE: you set up a no-ip account called "myftp.sytes.net"

    You specify this ftp://myftp.sytes.net and voila you are in. Your WAN IP can change as much as it wants
  20. DirtHerder

    DirtHerder Network Guru Member

    Sorry if this is obvious... but where in the R63 config screen do you enable FTP server?

    Maybe I'm just being dense but I can't seem to find it.

  21. DirtHerder

    DirtHerder Network Guru Member

    oh... nevermind.. found it.

  22. retzer

    retzer Network Guru Member

    Sorry for being so dense, but let me see if I understand this:

    If I am across town, I can ftp to my internet IP and retrieve files from the hard drive attached to my nslu2? Because I have tried this and it doesn't work.

    I have the correct nslu2 firmware and made sure my port 21 was forwarded from my router to my nslu2, but I never got very far ... the ftp request kept timing out.

    Can anyone here suggest things to look at so I can make this work? Thanks in advance.
  23. d__l

    d__l Network Guru Member

    Can you test the FTP on your own network first? FTP from a computer on your network to the NSLU2 using either a guest account or the admin account and the appropriate password if you are using an ext3 HD drive.

    If you are using a an NTFS or a FAT32 drive, then you will need to enable a special password for the guest account when no ext3 drive is connected.

    If you can make an FTP connection on your LAN, then a remote FTP access should be straight forward.
  24. retzer

    retzer Network Guru Member

    After fiddling around a bit I realized the problem might be in the limitations of Microsoft's ftp software (or maybe just my limitations using said software) so I tried a third-party Windows ftp client and it worked with no problems inside the network. I haven't had a chance to try it outside the network yet but if you say it's straight forward I don't foresee any worries.

    Thanks so much for your kind response; if I do have a problem I will let you know.
  25. M4N14cM4N

    M4N14cM4N Network Guru Member

    The FTP works great so far :) But i have an older Harddisk plug in, how can i format it to the ext3 filesystem?? I know that the ext3 is a linux filesystem....

    Oh, by the way, my NSLU2 means that my harddisk is not an harddisk :eek: I'm using the harddisk in a external case....
  26. EasyMyAss

    EasyMyAss Guest

    Thoroughly lost

    I have researched and read information on creating and ftp with my NSLU2 all day long and still I can figure it out. EASY!? yea right!

    first: typing in ftp://xxx.xxx.x.xx does nothing but give me "421 Login incorrect" Now HTTP://xxx.xxx.x.xx sends me to the NSLU2 status page.
    second: forwarding port 21?... whaaaatt???
    third: I tried a lot of other things that I read but didn't work but since I don't know what the heck I'm doing I can't repeat anything and since there is no information from Linksys on doing this I am lost!
    Please help!
  27. languy

    languy Network Guru Member

    If you are using Explorer you should get a prompt for the username and password. If you are using Firefox as FTP client try this: ftp://username@xxx.xx.x.xx and you should get a prompt for the password. You can also use ftp://username:password@xxx.xx.x.xx.
    If you want to access your NSLU from the internet and the NLSU is behind a router (most likely) you have to enable port forwarding of port 21 in the router. How this is done depends on the router you are using.
  28. d__l

    d__l Network Guru Member

    You might find it easier if you use an FTP client rather than a browser. They would have some help features to assist your transfers.
  29. ytsejam

    ytsejam Network Guru Member

    Make sure you have Allow anonymous FTP login ("guest" rights) checked to be able to access the NSLU2 without using a username/password. IE will prompt me for a password when trying access the NSLU2 through FTP, Firefox will not. If you do not have anonymouse rights checked, you must login like this ftp://username:password@xxx.xx.x.xx with Firefox. I also was getting the 421 login incorrect with Firefox until I checked anonymous rights.
  30. techmanblues

    techmanblues Network Guru Member

    The FTP server on my NSLU2 works fine. Here is the "problem." What if I want the users of the FTP server to log into their private directory without manually enter their usernames and passwords? In other words, can I create an URL with the username and password as part of the URL? This way, all the user has to do is click on the hot link and he is automatically anthenticated and either see the contents of the directory or even better, download the file right away.
  31. PedrosPad

    PedrosPad Network Guru Member

    From ytsejam's post, er, right above yours.....
    This format URL also works fine from Internet Explorer.
  32. retzer

    retzer Network Guru Member

    Ok so I finally got a chance to test my setup outside the network and I could not FTP into my slug. I am using the R63 firmware with port 21 (default FTP port, right?) forwarded to the slug's default static IP of

    The router is a WRT54G v2 with Tofu 6.2 firmware running rock solid. I am using dedicated window client software (Smart FTP, I think, but I am at work and can't confirm -- whatever it is it's freeware) and trying to FTP into my comcast IP using a username/password with NSLU2 admin privileges. Anonymous FTP was turned off.

    Any suggestions?
  33. techmanblues

    techmanblues Network Guru Member

    The Comcast modem is a router as well. For this to work, the Linksys router must get a public IP from the Comcast router/modem. Check on the WAN IP of the linksys and see what kind of IP it gets on the WAN side.
  34. retzer

    retzer Network Guru Member

    Are you talking about the IP assigned to my router by Comcast? The one found under "Internet" on the status page? That is what I tried to FTP into: ftp://24.7.xx.xxx (or just punching the IP number into the client). Using either IE or the FTP client would give a long pause of inactivity following by a timeout announcement.
  35. Registered

    Registered Network Guru Member

    Some service providers block common ports that are used to provide common services. For example my service provider blocks port 80, to try to prevent me from hosting a webserver.

    To get around this, and access my web server externally, I made port 1678 public, and forward that to my server's port 80.

    To connect to my werserver, I use http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:1678

    You can try doing a test ( to see if this is the case for you) make another port public, and then forward that to port 21 of the NSLU2
  36. retzer

    retzer Network Guru Member

    I don't think Comcast blocks ports but I am not positive. Next chance I get (this weekend) I will conduct further tests using port forwarding ... maybe I will put the slug in the DMZ to see if I can find it that way.
  37. flotsam1968

    flotsam1968 Network Guru Member

    Just some suggestions for connection remotely/over the Internet as opposed to LAN connections...

    You may want to try setting the client to passive mode...Ftp does not play easily with firewalls and NAT, and passive mode transfers sometimes help. If you can login, but can't transfer files, or even list directories, setting the client to passive mode has almost always "fixed" this, in my experience.

    Also, the Windows command line ftp will not do passive mode...So if that turns out to be the issue, you need to use a different client. For IE, try setting it to *not* show folder view for ftp ( or some such setting in Internet Options).
  38. retzer

    retzer Network Guru Member

    Would allowing UPnP features in the same menu of the NSLU2 have any bearing on whether I can use FTP from outside, on the Internet?
    This has been a tough one to troubleshoot. The next step will be to look hard at the router. Right now I am running a WRT54G v2 with Tofu 9/HyperWRT firmware; I am considering firmware downgrades to see if that makes a difference.
  39. wimnms

    wimnms Guest

    Changing port

    My ISP blocks 20/21 also which are the standard FTP control and data ports.

    Is it possible to change the ports on the r63 internal ftp server and to possibly specify passive port ranges?

    When I set up an FTP server on a PC (which I don't want to leave on all day long), I usually set up a listening port example 21021, and then passive port range of 22000-23000, then from the router I forward 21021 (sometimes 21020 control) and the 22000-23000 to the PC internal IP.

    I got the FTP server working fine internally (on port 21) on my network but I need to send files outside (like everyone else it seems :)) and with my ISP blocking... that's an issue.

    Thanks for any help.

    P.S. Yes I understand I could hax0r it (with unslung, openslug, etc.) but if the functionality is there I'd rather use that.

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