ProFTPD Developer's Guide

ProFTPD Version 1.2

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For any given program or application, almost every user or developer poses questions of "How do I get X program to do Y nifty thing?" The ProFTPD server is structured similar to the Apache web server, and can be extended through modules, much like Apache. Consequently, this extending or hacking-in of new functionality and capabilities is most easily done by developing a module, rather than changing the source code itself.

ProFTPD modules are designed to handle and respond to configuration directives at startup, to FTP commands sent over the control connection by FTP clients, and to authentication requests. Here is a more in-depth introduction to ProFTPD modules, and how they tick.

Unless otherwise stated, this information is relevant for the current version of ProFTPD. Any opinions, ideas, and philosophies contained herein are my own, or those of the contributors, and do not reflect the ideas or philosophies of my employer.

This manual is intended for system administrators and programmers who wish to develop modules and patches for the ProFTPD FTP server. Readers should be comfortable programming in a Unix environment, be familiar with C, and be aware of how the FTP protocol works. These documents aim to provide an explanation of the inner workings of ProFTPD and its modules, and how to develop them. Readers should therefore have in interest in these topics, else they may be bored.

Additions and Contributions
The current manual is not yet complete. I will continue to work on it as I find time. Feel free to send in material for the TODO sections, and for the small notes I've left around. Also, compatibility is an issue I struggle with sometimes. The best I can do for some Unix flavors is read man pages. Corrections, addendums, and notes for compatibility are greatly appreciated. All contributions, comments, and criticisms are welcome, and can be sent to

I, TJ Saunders, reserve a collective copyright on this manual. Individual contributions made to this manual are the intellectual property of the contributor.

This manual may contain errors, or inaccurate material. Use it at your own risk. Although an effort is made to keep all the material presented here accurate, the contributors and maintainer of these documents will not be held responsible for any damage, direct or indirect, which may result from inaccuracies.

This document may be reproduced in whole or in part, without fee, subject to the following restrictions:

Exceptions to these rules may be granted for academic purposes: write to the author and ask. These restrictions are here to protect us as authors, not to restrict you as learners and educators.

One final important thing to note: this documentation is an attempt to explain what the actual code is doing; the only true canonical source for answers to any questions that might arise is the source code itself. This documentation may, and most likely will, fall out of date, or not properly reflect what the code is doing. Therefore, the author of these documents should not be held responsible if ProFTPD is not behaving exactly as described here. Instead, s/he should be held responsible for not describing things exactly as ProFTPD is behaving. As always, caveat emptor.

Instructions for obtaining copies of this guide may be found here.

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Author: $Author: castaglia $
Last Updated: $Date: 2003/04/25 18:35:12 $

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