Enabling the FTP Server on OS X Mavericks
Apple’s recently announced the new iPads and MacBooks. With the announcement is an updated version of Apple OS X — version 10.9 aka Mavericks. As a surprise, Apple is providing the new version of OS X for free.
After upgrading to OS X Mavericks and needing to put up an FTP server on my Mac, I went to run the System Preferences app to enable the FTP Server. To my surprise, the option isn’t available already.
Fortunately, as with other server software on the OS X, I can actually enable the FTP server using the launchctl program on the Mac.
The launchctl software interfaces with launchd (a software that runs on the background to manage daemons/agents on the Mac) daemon on OS X.
Launchctl allows Mac users to load, unload daemons/agents and generally control launchd. To load the FTP server, just run the Terminal app and run the command:
sudo -s launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ftp.plist
And just like that FTP is now enabled.
You can unload the FTP server by also using the launchctl command. To unload the FTP server, just perform the following command in the Terminal app:
sudo -s launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ftp.plist
For WordPress developers, the FTP server is a convenient software when upgrading WordPress and plugins running on the Mac.
Accessing the FTP server
Using your Mac’s OS X username and password, you can gain access via localhost (for ftp access from the same computer). To access the ftp server from another computer over your network, use your computer’s IP address.
For example, to access the FTP server using a browser, just use the following URL format:
ftp://user@localhost (you will then be prompted by the password)
Gerry Ilagan is into mobile apps and WordPress development at @speeqs. He loves to write about electronics, the Internet of Things, mobile phones, and #crazyideas.