How to Set Up an FTP Server in Mac OS X Leopard


FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, allows network and Internet users to transfer files from one computer to another. With Mac OS X, and the system's built-in Unix core, setting up a Mac to act as an FTP server can be done with a few simple clicks.

  • Click on the Apple menu in the upper left-hand corner of your menu bar. Select and launch System Preferences.

  • Click the "Sharing" folder icon to open the "Sharing Preferences" pane.

  • Click "File Sharing" in the Service list located in the left-hand column. Click the "On" check box to turn on File Sharing.

  • Click the "Options" button in the lower right-hand corner of the "Sharing Preferences" pane. This will open the "File Sharing Options" window. Click "Share Files and Folders Using FTP" to turn on the Mac FTP server. Click "Done" to close the window and save the options.The FTP server is now running. To stop the FTP server, click and uncheck the "Share Files and Folders Using FTP" check box.

Tips & Warnings

  • Only existing user accounts are allowed to access the FTP server on OS X 10.5; anonymous FTP is not available.
  • You will need to open port 21, the standard port for FTP, if you have an Internet router. This will allow users outside your network to access the computer via FTP.
  • FTP transactions are insecure, with usernames and passwords being sent over the network or Internet as unencrypted text.

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  • Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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