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I'm looking for a very, very simple FTP server for Linux that is pretty much zero configuration, does not run as a daemon, and I can start and stop when I need to quickly send a file over.

More info: I use SSH for everything. But WordPress wants to update itself once in a while, so I need an FTP server that I can have listen only on in the directory that I start it in so WP can upgrade. I don't want to deal with creating users and managing virtual directories, I don't want something that runs in the background and opens me to more vectors of attack.

I'm surprised that I haven't been able to find anything on Google. There are many such programs for Windows (admittedly not CLI-based, but that do the same thing).

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closed as off topic by Lucas Kauffman, Sven, EEAA, Zoredache, Ward Apr 22 '12 at 6:30

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If you don't have a system user what level of privileges do you expect the user to have? A dead simple implementation woul just have the 'user' having the service account privileges which would probably have to be root for ftp since it binds to port 22. – Zoredache Apr 21 '12 at 20:39
Well I mentioned standalone - it would have the same privileges as whatever user started it on the server. It's not a daemon. – Mahmoud Al-Qudsi Apr 21 '12 at 20:45
Only root can bind to ports less then 1023. So the account you need to use to start it will be root. – Zoredache Apr 21 '12 at 21:05
That's right, but personally I don't care/need to bind to port 2[0-2]. – Mahmoud Al-Qudsi Apr 21 '12 at 22:00

You can install any of the available FTP servers like tftpd or vsftpd. They are really simple to configure. You can set the bind (listen) interface to loopback only (, so it will not be accessible remotely.

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I know vsftpd can be run as standalone or a daemon, but that's not what I'm looking for. I want something that won't tie in with the *nix accounts (sorry I didn't mention that earlier). – Mahmoud Al-Qudsi Apr 21 '12 at 8:04
@MahmoudAl-Qudsi: You can allow/deny specific users. What's the problem with vsftpd? – Khaled Apr 21 '12 at 8:07
I don't want to create users on the unix machine. I want a simple user/pass configuration for the FTP server. – Mahmoud Al-Qudsi Apr 21 '12 at 8:09
@MahmoudAl-Qudsi: If you don't want to create system users to avoid the possibility of login using SSH, you can disable SSH and allow FTP only for those users. – Khaled Apr 21 '12 at 8:26
Thanks, Khaled; but that's not the problem. I want to tie it in with an external script, and don't want to be automating account creation on the server. – Mahmoud Al-Qudsi Apr 21 '12 at 8:28

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