Anonymous FTP

The FTP Archive

The department maintains an anonymous FTP site for the purpose of disseminating Brown software and other documents. The URL is:

   ftp://ftp.cs.brown.edu/

There are four sections of the archive, the public section (/pub), the user section (/u), the incoming section (/incoming) and the guest account section (not visible).

The Public And User Sections

The public section is for posting software and other documents that are meant to reach a broad audience. The user section is for posting materials meant for a limited audience, but without any limitations on who may access them.

The public and user sections of the ftp archive are located on the local filesystem in /home/ftp. These sections of the archive can be modified directly at /home/ftp/pub and /home/ftp/u.

The Incoming Section

Anyone may upload files to the incoming section. Anonymous users cannot download files uploaded by anonymous users. Files in the incoming section are removed automatically after they have not been modified for 3 days.

Local users can access uploaded files directly using the filesystem.

FTP Guest Accounts

For non-public file tranfers, where privacy is a concern, you may want an FTP guest account. This requires the remote user to type a password to login, and places them in a part of the archive that is inaccessible by anonymous ftp. If an unencrypted session is used, the security this provides is minimal.

The guest section of the ftp archive is mounted locally at /sysvol/ftp/guest. Guest account subdirectories are owned by the people who requested them, so they can add or remove files directly.

Contact the tstaff for an ftp guest account.

Encrypted Sessions

Our ftp server accepts only TLS encrypted sessions at this URL:

   ftp://ftps.cs.brown.edu/

Anonymous and guest logins work here as above. In addition, CS users may log in using their ldap passwords. Logging in that way will put you in your /u/logname directory, but you can still access the whole archive.

Note that users behind firewalls must use passive ftp connections when using encryption. That includes CS Dept users. If you don't, you'll connect okay, but nothing else will work.

Legal Issues

Anything you put on our ftp archive is immediately available to the entire world. Many things on our systems may not be distributed beyond the department, the university or, in some cases, the country. The constraints are license agreements, copyrights, and US export laws.

So you must be very careful about what you put up for ftp. In general, if you wrote code here at Brown, it is probably at least partly owned by the University, and so it must have a Department copyright notice on it. Other software runs the gamut from freely redistributable to proprietary trade secrets - you can't always tell without asking - so ask first.

Most of these encumbrances do not apply to articles or papers. In general, they may be distributed freely. An exception is journal articles, which may become the property of the journal.