Debian To Retire Its Public FTP Services

Image: Debian

The File Transfer Protocol will always be around, but it hasn't aged well, especially when compared to its more popular relative, HTTP. The folks at Debian have decided that it's time to cut the FTP cord and will be retiring its public-facing FTP services come November this year.

As the announcement states, at the start of November, the following addresses will be axed:

ftp://ftp.debian.org ftp://security.debian.org

The post also explains the "considerations" that resulted in the decision:

  • FTP servers have no support for caching or acceleration.
  • Most software implementations have stagnated and are awkward to use and configure.
  • Usage of the FTP servers is pretty low as our own installer has not offered FTP as a way to access mirrors for over ten years.
  • The protocol is inefficient and requires adding awkward kludges to firewalls and load-balancing daemons.

Unsurprisingly, developer-facing FTP services won't be retired for the time being. Still, we should spare a thought for all the forgotten servers trucking along and accessing these addresses directly. I'm sure a few tardy IT administrators are going to have a rough time of things later in the year.

Shutting down public FTP services [Debian]

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