tnftp: The *BSD counterpart

My experiences with the *BSDs is extremely limited, but I am taking it on faith and on the advice of Wikipedia that tnftp is the default ftp agent in NetBSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and some others.


It may be that I am mistaken, in which case I was provided with bad information. 😳

If that is the case though, I can only hope that *BSD users have better luck that I do with it. It seems that regardless of the host, nothing seems to connect. If I use the traditional ftp available through Arch’s inetutils, I have no problems.

An added irony, as you can see in the screenshot, is that tnftp is finding the correct IP address, but still insists it can’t connect. Perhaps I should be supplying a user name or a specific port, but it seems every variation ends up the same.

It’s a little disappointing, but as I always do, I first assume the problem is mine. No doubt I am missing a step somewhere, or have misconfigured something.

And I have no reason to assume that tnftp doesn’t work at all. It seems foolish to think that some of the most bulletproof software available on the planet would rely on a less-than-functional ftp client. Add to that it’s in both community and Debian.

For those keeping count, this little adventure has thus far collected a rather impressive menu of ftp clients. So even if tnftp doesn’t work for you either, you still have the choice of

and Midnight Commander, if you’re willing to acknowledge its ability to open ftp addresses like normal, everyday folders. Plus anything that happens to crop up between here and the last of the Z section.

So don’t throw in the towel just because this one doesn’t work for you. 😉

3 thoughts on “tnftp: The *BSD counterpart

  1. Billy Larlad

    I can attest that FTP works fine on OpenBSD. I use it to download various files from time to time.

    Which brings me to my next point. I don’t think the Wikipedia article is quite accurate. As you may know, each BSD is basically its own operating system — it has its own kernel and its own userland, all developed as a whole and each developed independently of those of the other BSDs. As such, I don’t think they should speak of there being a single FTP client on *BSD. From what I can see (looking at the commit logs for http://ftp.c on the OpenBSD website) the OpenBSD FTP client code hasn’t been synced with the NetBSD ftp client code (where tnftp originates) since 2000 or so. So maybe about fifteen years ago they both had identical code, but not so much today.

    Anyway, that’s pointless pedantry that has nothing to do with your post.

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      That explains a lot. The Wikipedia page certainly makes it sound like it’s the go-to tool for FTP for anything BSD-ish. Thanks for the explanation. 😉

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