Enabling FTP for ESX Server
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Enabling FTP for ESX Server


Article ID: 341442


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


I want to make an FTP connection to my server, but I get an "access denied" error message. How do I get FTP to work?


VMware ESX Server 3.0.x
VMware ESX Server 2.1.x
VMware ESX Server 2.0.x
VMware ESX Server 2.5.x


Because FTP is not a secure way to transfer files, ESX Server includes SCP (secure copy), which is part of the SSH (secure shell) package. In addition, the ESX Server security setting defaults to high. This blocks the use of FTP. It is best practice to use SCP (or another secure utility) to copy files if your ESX Server system is on a public network. You should consider using FTP only if your ESX Server system is on a private network.

To enable FTP for ESX Server 2.x

  1. Log on to the management interface as root.
  2. Click the Options tab.
  3. Click Security Settings.
  4. On the Security Settings page, click Custom.
  5. Select Enable FTP services.
  6. Click OK to save the setting.
To enable FTP for ESX Server 3.0
ESX Server 3.0 has no FTP server installed by default. The option to open FTP in the management interface is for FTP client (outgoing communication to an FTP server). If you need to use FTP, you must download and install an FTP server on the ESX Server 3.0 host. This is not recommended. As a workaround, you can open the sshClient port on your hosts. They already have the server enabled by default.
esxcfg-firewall -e sshClient

Once the client is open, you can use scp to copy the files using a non-privileged user.

scp /path/to/srcFile.iso username@destHost:/path/to/destFile.iso