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Question: FTP server, Mac OS High Sierra

Pre-High Sierra, I was able to run an FTP server through the command line:

"sudo -s launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ftp.plist"


Fast forward, I've installed High Sierra, and I can't use that command anymore. I've also downloaded and installed Mac OS Server, but I don't see it as a service there either.


Any suggestions to run an FTP server locally on my Mac? I'd prefer a command-line solution like I started with once upon a time.


P.S. I've also tried the following file sharing solution with the -F option (for FTP) with no luck:

"sudo sharing -a ~/Desktop -F test"

MacBook Pro with Retina display, macOS High Sierra (10.13), null

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Answer:

Thanks to Dr. Ripco. His answer helped me develop a working solution which requires the binaries from pre-High Sierra. FTP, telnet, and my pre-High Sierra bash profile shortcuts work on two MacBooks currently running High Sierra. The optional statements should be done if you want to include telnet or use the 'launchctl load/unload' commands for FTP.


Copy these files from a Apple OS that is pre-High Sierra, or find another source.

  • /usr/bin - ftp and telnet (Optional)
  • (Optional) /usr/libexec/ftpd - ftpd
  • (Optional) /System/Library/LaunchDaemons - ftp.plist


Disable SIP via Recovery Mode

  1. Reboot the computer. When the Apple logo shows up, hold down Command+R.
  2. Open the Terminal under Utilities.
  3. Type 'csrutil disable' and press Enter.
  4. Reboot the computer.


Move the files to the various locations on your computer running High Sierra.

  • /usr/local/bin - ftp, telnet (Optional)
  • (Optional) /usr/libexec/ftpd - ftpd
  • (Optional) /System/Library/LaunchDaemons - ftp.plist


(Optional) Update the permissions for the ftp.plist file

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Type 'chmod 677 /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ftp.plist' and press Enter


Verify it works.

  1. Open Terminal
  2. Type 'ftp localhost' and press Enter. This should show as connected and not return errors.
  3. (Optional) Type 'sudo -s launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ftp.plist' and press Enter. Shouldn't return any errors.


Re-enable SIP

  1. Reboot the computer. When the Apple logo shows up, hold down Command+R.
  2. Open the Terminal under Utilities.
  3. Type 'csrutil enable' and press Enter.
  4. Reboot the computer.

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Dec 6, 2017 8:08 AM in response to Dr.Ripco In response to Dr.Ripco

Yes, the /usr/bin/ftp and telnet images work just fine when copied to /usr/local/bin.


I cannot believe Momma Apple, citing "Security Issues", would remove two of the most basic tools from the Internet Suite, used by literally tens of thousands of CORPORATE applications. By bringing over the 12.x utilities, we now are dependent on images which will no longer have support, ie, will no longer receive security updates the rest of the internet gets. This is better HOW???


(40+ year veteran of supporting commercial legacy systems as a consultant for a major computer manufacturer)

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Dec 6, 2017 7:23 AM in response to RayKep In response to RayKep

I read somewhere else that both telnet and ftp were removed from high sierra.


One suggestion, if you still have the old sierra around, you can use the binaries from it. Probably use /usr/local/bin rather than screwing with the SIP stuff to stick them where they belong.


I haven't tried it myself but it's supposed to work fine.

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Dec 6, 2017 7:23 AM in response to RayKep In response to RayKep

I read somewhere else that both telnet and ftp were removed from high sierra.


One suggestion, if you still have the old sierra around, you can use the binaries from it. Probably use /usr/local/bin rather than screwing with the SIP stuff to stick them where they belong.


I haven't tried it myself but it's supposed to work fine.

Dec 6, 2017 7:23 AM

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Oct 10, 2017 6:24 PM in response to etresoft In response to etresoft

Yes, FTP is insecure, but most people using it for larger file transfers within their network, where SFTP is not needed. Now, I need to find an SFTP/SCP server for my transfers that were perfectly fine in FTP before.. 😟


Like someone already said, it would have been nice to know, since these built-in features made the Mac that much nicer to use than PC.

Oct 10, 2017 6:24 PM

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Oct 10, 2017 7:03 PM in response to Hacksawz88 In response to Hacksawz88

Hacksawz88 wrote:


I need to find an SFTP/SCP server for my transfers that were perfectly fine in FTP before.. 😟


It is built into the operating system. Just turn on remote login. Technically, you don't need SFTP locally, but it isn't any slower than FTP, especially locally.

Oct 10, 2017 7:03 PM

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Oct 11, 2017 4:51 AM in response to RayKep In response to RayKep

Apple is well-known for breaking compatibility with older technologies. Microsoft, however, is well-known for maintaining compatibility with older versions. Yet Apple customers always keep updating to whatever Apple's latest buggy OS might be, regardless of what won't work anymore, and then complain about it. Windows users are notorious for running ancient versions. I wonder, do Windows users complain that Microsoft never gives them any new features in XP?

Oct 11, 2017 4:51 AM

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Oct 11, 2017 5:16 PM in response to etresoft In response to etresoft

I'm a faithful follower and purchaser (donator?) to Etrecheck. I highly respect it's author. But let me comment on the above. I've very long history with MSFT, having "coded" in Microsoft Basic on my TRS-80 model 1. Converted to the PC in 1981 when my company declned to support Apple II or TRS-80. The Config.sys allowed anybody to make hardware for the PC and its clones. It left 5 designed holes in the OS that still are the main avenue for the hacker, malware and viruses. It did make it possible for MSFT to rule the world as Steve Jobs took the opposite road. Backward compatibility is one of the reasons that the PC remains dangerous to this day. To top it all off, it was a standard joke among us geeks that Microsoft sold us betaware and then sold us the next version to fix the bugs we bought in the last iteration. DOS 1.3 worked. 1.0 was too buggy. No DOS version 2.* was sold to anybody who knew better just the same as any 4.* DOS. It took until Window 3.1 before things got stable enough to use. I forgot that knowledge and took a "free upgrade" to Win10 for a Parallels virtual machine and it had so many problems that I had to abandon it and buy $200 replacement. I think my experience with Apple makes me appreciate 99% of how they do things, especially with respect to AppleCare. Apple fixes their mistakes and doesn't put a new number and price tag on it.

Oct 11, 2017 5:16 PM

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Question: FTP server, Mac OS High Sierra