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SDB:YaST TFTP Server

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This article describes how to install and configure a TFTP server using YaST.

Introduction

TFTP is an acronym for Trivial File Transfer Protocol (or Trivial FTP) and is a protocol to transfer files between a server and clients. It is called 'trivial' because of the simplicity of the protocol: a TFTP client can be implemented within only a small amount of memory, especially when compared with a full blown FTP client. This makes it ideal for devices likes routers, IP telephones or thin clients. It is also used in conjunction with PXE boot. TFTP typically operates over UDP.

However, TFTP also lacks important features of FTP; the absence of security is probably the most notable one. Therefore, TFTP should only be used on private networks and never be exposed to the internet. It is also important to remember that sensitive information can be downloaded by everyone with access to the network.

Installation

In YaST, start Software Management and install the following packages:

  • tftp
  • yast2-tftp-server

Restart YaST to see the TFTP Server module.

Configuration

Start YaST2, select Network Services and start the module TFTP Server. After the installation, the TFTP server is disabled by default. Choose Enable to start the TFTP server. It might be required to open the TFTP port in your firewall.

The files that will be distributed by the TFTP server reside normally in /tftpboot. You can change this default directory if you want. YaST will ask you to create this directory if it doesn't exist when applying the new settings.

Choose OK to apply the new settings.

Manual configuration

The TFTP server is invoked from xinetd. All configuration for the TFTP server is therefore stored in cat /etc/xinetd.d/tftp. The server can be configured using arguments that are passed to the tftp program.

Some possible options are:

  • -c Allow the creation of new files. By default, only files that already exist will be allowed to upload.
  • -s Secure connection: the TFTP server will change its root directory to the specified directory (e.g. /tftpboot).
  • -v Turn verbosity on.

See man tftpd for the full list of allowed arguments.

Using the TFTP server

The TFTP server will serve the files that are put in /tftpboot (or in the directory specified in YaST, if not using the default directory). Clients can connect to the server without additional configuration on the server.