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This Evo Tip is obsolete, as iSystems retired the insecure FTP site in late 2009, replacing it with a Secure FTP server instead.
All Evolution payroll service bureaus have had to send a client file to the iSystems FTP site for repair or analysis, and this can be done either from a Windows middle-tier machine or directly from the Linux database server.
Most of the graphical FTP clients for Windows support the notion of saved sessions, which provides for auto-login to the target site, the Linux FTP client supports this as well using the little-known .netrc facility.
The .netrc file can be located in the user's home directory and populated with information about one or more FTP servers to which you routinely connect. When a user attempts to connect to a listed server, it scripts the login process automatically.
Assuming you're working at the root user, the file would look like this:
machine ftp.isystemsllc.com login unixwiz password c0nsultan7
Replace the login name and password with the credentials provided by iSystems, and save the file.
Note - because this file contains passwords — sensitive information — the FTP client will refuse to use the file if it's readable by anybody but the file owner. This encourages you to change the mode of the file to protect it.
Putting this all together, this shows the sequence of file creation, protection, and use:
# vi /root/.netrc (edit the file as needed) # chmod og= /root/.netrc # ftp ftp.isystemsllc.com Connected to ftp.isystemsllc.com (220.127.116.11). 220 FTP Server ready. 331 Password required for unixwiz. 230 User unixwiz logged in. Remote system type is UNIX. Using binary mode to transfer files. ftp>
Many Linux installations provide two FTP clients: the regular one, and one that uses Kerberos authentication. This latter is quite useful for larger enterprises with substantial authentication scemes, but it's overkill for an Evolution service bureau.
By removing the package containing the Kerberized FTP client, the "regular" one will be used instead. rpm -e is the command to erase (remove) a currently-installed package:
# rpm -e krb5-workstation
It's best to logout and then back in one time after removing this package, but no reboot is necessary. We've never seen a downside to removing the Kerberos-equipped clients.
Once this is configured, the ftp client will always attempt to use the credentials found inside the file. If the credentials change, or you need to temporarily login as some other user, it's possible to disable use of the .netrc file by use of the -n command-line parameter.
By disabling the autologin, you'll have to use the user command directly to start the manual login process.
# ftp -n ftp.isystemsllc.com Connected to ftp.isystemsllc.com (18.104.22.168). 220 FTP Server ready. Remote system type is UNIX. Using binary mode to transfer files. ftp> user unixwiz 331 Password required for unixwiz. Password: ********** 230 User unixwiz logged in. ftp>
Once connected, it's just like any other FTP session regardless of how the login process was achieved.
This Evo Tip is not endorsed, approved, or supported by iSystems, LLC.
First published: 2006/09/25