Linux FTP Server with a Graphical User Interface (GUI)

March 27, 2008

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Linux is a great Operating System which can give small businesses access to enterprise quality products normally only available for the big boys. The downside to going down the Linux and Open Source route compare to a Windows based solution, is the configuration can be less user friendly. This was highlighted recently when I needed a FTP Server with a graphical user interface which a Windows end user would be happy using.

Don’t get me wrong the open source movement is improving all the time, you need only take a look at Ubuntu and compare it to Windows Vista or Mac OSX, you’d be surprised. Although most comments on Linux forums when this question is asked, is why do you need GUI for FTP Server?

Simple, not all businesses have an IT department and 99% of people would run scared if you showed them command shell, "I want Windows" would probably be the cry!

Back to the topic in hand, a Linux FTP Server with a graphical user interface (GUI). Well, I struggled to find any all in one solutions which seem to be abundant on the Windows platform, Xlightftpd, Cerberusftp, Filezilla Server etc. The solution so far seems to be add on programs that provide GUI to existing FTP software on the Linux platform. Which kind of makes sense given the maturity of FTP Server software on Linux, why re-invent the wheel?

The List

I’ve not had chance to test any as yet but will report back when I find a suitable solution, in the meantime he is what I have found so far…

GPROFTPD- Proftpd FTP server

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GPROFTPD is an easy to use GTK+ administration tool for the proftpd standalone server. GProftpd and Proftpd gives admins access to virtual hosting, 8 layers of security including chrooted users and encrypted transfers on both the data and/or control channels. It is ideal for both standard ftp serving and webhotels.

http://freshmeat.net/projects/gproftpd/

PureAdmin - Graphical FTP Server Management Utility

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PureAdmin is a graphical tool used to make the management of PureFTPd a little easier. It uses the GTK+2.x widgets for its GUI and thus are not dependent on a specific desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE. It is, however, designed with the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines in mind so it should integrate nicely with at least GNOME.

http://purify.sourceforge.net/index.php

KcmPureftpd - KDE Admin Pure-ftpd

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KcmPureftpd is an KDE KControl module for configuring pure-ftpd FTP server. The goal is to have medium users to configure their server securely and conveniently, without the burden of knowing tons of command line switches.

kproftpd - KDE Frontend for configuring ProFTPD

http://freshmeat.net/projects/kcmpureftpd/

Kproftpd is a graphical Qt and KDE libs based frontend to the ProFTPD ftp-server. The target is to build a easy to use application, to configure the proftpd. its designed with the help of KDevelop.

Webmin

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Webmin is browser based product that allows you to manage a wide range of services running on your Linux box, including FTP servers.

http://www.webmin.com/

ProMA - Web Based admin tool for ProFTPd

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ProMA is a PHP-based system for administrating a ProFTPd server that stores users in a MySQL database. Its features include support for multiple administrators, mail notifications when new users register and when accounts are approved, closing of accounts temporarily, and a notepad per user for the admins.

http://freshmeat.net/projects/proma/

JProftpd

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A very simple Java based admin tool for use with ProFTPd.

http://www.cli.di.unipi.it/~checchi/

PPMy - Web based ProFTPd Manager

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PPMy is a simple Web-based administration utility to administer users and groups to a ProFTPD server, storing users and groups in a MySQL database.

http://ppmy.sourceforge.net/

GADMIN-ProFTPd - Gnome Admin

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GAdmin-ProFTPD is a GTK+ frontend for the ProFTPD standalone server. It gives admins access to virtual hosting and eight layers of security, including chrooted users and encrypted transfers on both the data and/or control channels.

 http://mange.dynalias.org/linux.html

ProFTPd Admin - Another Web Base Admin Tool

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A web-based tool written in PHP aimed at managing users and groups for a ftp-server called "proFTPd".

http://proftpd-adm.sourceforge.net/

 

Others?

Missed any worth mentioning? Leave a comment and we’ll update the post.

Author: Support @ 11:56 pm




Free Remote Support Software

October 10, 2007

remote control support

Many businesses benefit from remote support software which enables IT departments and computer support companies to resolve computer issues. For businesses that are big enough to have a central server, this can be achieved easily with little expenditure using software like VNC or Remote Desktop. Smaller businesses typically need to purchase software like Log Me In or Go To Assist. That was until CrossLoop came on the scene.

CrossLoop is an ideal solution for businesses:-

  • That don’t have a central server
  • Don’t want to mess around with router configurations
  • Require a secure connection
  • More than one PC in their network
  • Require remote support while out of the office
  • Don’t have a static IP address provided by their ISP (As a business you will benefit from having a static IP address)
  • or are not willing to purchase remote support software

CrossLoop does have a couple of disadvantages over other paid solutions. Such as, you can’t transfer files (now comes with file transfer!) and you need someone else to confirm access code at the other end. Although with one of my clients, I prefer this level of security because of the nature of the sensitive information they deal with.

How does remote support software work?

Here is a quick explanation of how remote control software works in businesses that have server and those that don’t.

how remote support software works with businesses that have a central server

Think of the server as a secretary that re-directs your telephone calls to the correct person (computer) within the business.

how remote support software works with businesses that don't have a central server

For businesses that don’t have a secretary (server), the computer support company needs a virtual secretary (CrossLoop, Logmein etc) to assist them with the location of the person (computer) to whom they are connecting to.

How to use CrossLoop

Here is Terinea’s quick guide to using CrossLoop.

  1. Download and install CrossLoop, from
    http://www.CrossLoop.com/download.html
  2. Run CrossLoop - requiring remote assistance. Alternatively if you’re joining a hosted CrossLoop session jump to step 3.
    1. If you’re requiring remote assistance, click on the HOST tab and provide the person connecting to you with the Access Code.
      crossloop host tab
    2. Once they have the access code, press “Connect” and wait for them to connect.
      waiting for connection, crossloop
    3. Once the connection has been made, you will need confirm by clicking on Yes.
      confirm connection crossloop
  3. Run CrossLoop - joining a hosted CrossLoop session - Providing support.
    1. Click on the JOIN tab and enter the access code provided by your friend (HOST).
      image
    2. Click connect and wait for the host to confirm connection (Step 3 Above)
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    3. After a couple of second the process should be complete, enabling you to control the remote computer
      Crossloop connected

File Transfers and more

Alternatively you can watch an eight minute video that explains the process in more detail, although I prefer Robert Scoble video below. It is also worth visiting CrossLoop’s excellent user guide page that explains the process in more detail, including how to transfer files. I have also made this page available as a PDF.

CrossLoop, Windows Vista and Windows Defender

Windows Defender and Crossloop

When using CrossLoop on Windows Vista, a screen a like above may appear, click on the Ignore button. Windows Defender seems to think its some type of spyware. I can re-assure you, it isn’t!

To stop this from happening again, click on Start bar (Windows logo) > Control Panel > Security > Windows Defender. Under Review potentially unwanted items, click on Review items detected by real-time protection. Once the screen below appears select Always Allow from Action and then Apply Actions.

crossloop window sdefender

What remote access software do you use?

Author: Support @ 6:21 pm




Use The Source - Websites and Graphics

March 31, 2006

Designing a website for a business, club, school or yourself? You should check out the following websites to assist you in development.

We recently overhauled our company site using a number of these open source resources.

Website Templates

Open Source Web Design is a collection of web designs submitted by the community that anyone can download and use for free.
Open Web Design is another site that allows you to download quality web templates.

Images

SXC has an open source policy for high resolution images that people upload to the site. Almost all the images can be used in business without any copyright issues.

Graphics & Clipart - Open Clip Art Library provides high quality graphics and clip art to be used by anyone. Most of these graphics make use of vector based file formats and hence can be scaled to any size without loss in quality.

Author: Support @ 8:22 pm
Category: Uncategorized