Do I need to have a ftp server / daemon on my Linux box so that I can receive files?

A use case of a system "receiving" files over FTP would be, for example, the way WordPress plugins are installed via 1-click where WordPress initiates a file transfer to the local Linux box from the remote WordPress plugin repository using ftp(s)

*I know the question may seem like an absolute "Say wha?"question or may look like a really silly question, but my server skills are a joke & couldn't really get the keywords right for a Google search

  • The real question is do YOU initiate the transfer on the receiving side? OR do YOU send files to the receiving side from another host? This determines whether you need an FTP server daemon. BTW, why not use scp?
    – mdpc
    Jul 22, 2011 at 17:06
  • @mdpc I initiate the transfer on the receiving side. See my use case as for why not scp.
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    Jul 22, 2011 at 17:07

4 Answers 4


Yes, there needs to be some type of server-side software listening on port 21 to accept the inbound connection and process the data. Not necessarily a daemon, but there must be some type of software to accept the connection.

Debian includes numerous FTP servers in the repositories, which you can search for by using apt-cache search ftp-server. ProFTPd and vsftpd are the popular ones that come to mind.

You may also need to make modifications to your router to allow the connection through to your Linux host. You can then enter the credentials into Wordpress and have the plugin downloaded from your machine:

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No. But you need to have some sort of FTP server running if you wish to receive files via FTP, without initiating the FTP connection yourself.

  • The example described is somewhat confusing if you haven't used the Wordpress 1-click plugin update before. Wordpress wants to connect to an FTP server that you have access to, and by description it sounds like Sathya wants to host the files himself.
    – John T
    Jul 22, 2011 at 17:05

No you just need an FTP client. If you want people to push files to you, rather than request them and download them, you would need a server running but otherwise no.


Based on John T's comment about the wordpress thing this might be wrong, I have no clue how that works, but it sounds like you might need a daemon.


Not in this case, because the FTP connection is between the WordPress plugins download server and the server on which your WordPress installation is hosted. You're using your browser to initiate a connection between two other boxes; they both need to be FTP-enabled but the plugins aren't downloaded to your local machine.

(Of course, if your WP installation is actually on your local machine the answer would be yes, but I'm assuming you have WordPress hosted non-locally.)

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