Debian to shutdown public FTP services

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Debian

San Francisco: Debian, a free and open source (FOSS) Linux-based operating system, on Tuesday announced they are to shut down their public File Transfer Protocol (FTP) in November, via their official website. The public FTPs are to be redirected to Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) from 1 November.

The project website explains the decision as follows:

This decision is driven by the following considerations:

  • FTP servers have no support for caching or acceleration.
  • Most software implementations have stagnated and are awkward to use and configure.
  • Usage of the FTP servers is pretty low as our own installer has not offered FTP as a way to access mirrors for over ten years.
  • The protocol is inefficient and requires adding awkward kludges to firewalls and load-balancing daemons.

On Debian’s announcement list, Cédric Boutillier, a Debian developer, called the file transfer protocol “inefficient”, saying “FTP servers have no support for caching or acceleration.” Boutillier also added that FTP servers are rarely used. For over a decade, Debian installers have not supported FTP access on mirrors. This decision, however, would not affect the developer services, which would still support FTP.

FTP came into existence about 46 years ago for transferring files between two machines, without encryption. According to Boutillier, FTP “requires adding awkward kludges to firewalls and load-balancing daemons.” HTTP, which came after FTP, was designed for data flow between servers and clients. Popular Linux distros like Kali Linux and Canonical‘s Ubuntu are based on the said project. The following websites are to be redirected to HTTP — rather than secure HTTPS — after October without changing the domain names:

  1. http://ftp.debian.org
  2. http://security.debian.org

It’s of little concern to the developers because their services will not be affected. The upload queues for ftp://ftp.upload.debian.org and ftp://security-master.debian.org archives will be accessible to them. Outsiders will have no access to ftp://ftp.debian.org or ftp://security.debian.org starting 1 November.

From Wikinews under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence