proftpd daemon on VMware ESXi

Running an ssh server within ESXi is a must nowadays, at least for me and for all those shell junkies out there 🙂

Now, try to transfer large files over ssh with scp or rsync and you’ll be pissed. Even on gigabit networks maximum throughput will be just a few MB/s.

This is expected behavior as explained here and here.

If you want to speed things up you could use vSphere Client’s datastore browser, VMware Converter and friends but you REALLY WANT to do it from ESXi shell so lets run ProFTPD:

1 – Get this file.
Its just an oem.tzg with proftpd daemon bundled, as well as its proftpd.conf.
ps. this oem.tgz was put together using the one from Dell Embedded ESXi 4 install image. It should be safe to use on any server brand though. Here and here there are the generic instructions if you would like to build your own.

2 – Copy it to ESXi /bootbank/oem.tgz.

3 – Add this line to /etc/inetd.conf.
“ftp stream tcp nowait root /usr/sbin/tcpd proftpd”

4 – Reboot ESXi.

Ftp will be happily listening on port 21 after boot.