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My work allows the downloading of ISO images for work related projects. However the proxy we use has issues when downloading from FTP sites. I should also mention that downloading large files over http through this proxy is not ideal. It "caches" the whole file to the proxy before it sends it on to your download client. You lose resume support, and it often stops transferring files.

One thing I noticed though is that port 22 (SSH) doesn't have any proxy or firewall restrictions. My plan is to download any ISOs I require through a SFTP server, except I can't find any.

Are there any public SFTP servers that host Linux and/or FreeBSD ISOs?

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When using the http proxy a download-manager tool might be able to get the large file correctly and provide resume support as well. The proxy has to support "range" request, but nearly every modern proxy can do this without problems. – Tonny Aug 23 '13 at 13:09
You should use the fastest download option. You need to verify it's checksum anyway before going on. – ott-- Aug 23 '13 at 19:11
up vote 5 down vote accepted

You may look for download sites that offer rsync since it uses ssh as its transport (which sftp also does). Type


in a shell and check if you can read a directory listing. Read the rsync man page for further info. This command downloads Raring Ubuntu with Gnome for 64-Bit Intel machines:

rsync -P .

A few hints: Note the . at the end of the command. Omit the dot and the filename, i.e. just reference a remote directory, but keep the trailing /. That will give you a directory listing. That way you can browse a remote rsync server.

You may also look for zsync and jigdo. They do not use ssh, but dramatically reduce bandwidth usage.

Have fun!!

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A quick google for "rsync iso bsd" gave me this: (scroll down to RSYNC). You get the idea, right? ;) – Johannes Aug 23 '13 at 13:37
Excellent! Thanks – glisignoli Aug 24 '13 at 11:52

I can't speak for the entire internet, but if popular search engines won't dig up any good results for "linux sftp mirror"s then there probably aren't any big and/or official.

However, maybe you could personally talk to the guys who are in charge of the proxies and firewalls. Chances are high linux isos are work related for their purposes ...

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I can only recommend website where you can get Ubuntu, and here is the instruction on what to do further with this link I provided. It's written in a step by step way so I don't think that you might face any difficulties with that. Good luck.

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