Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Getting CMD Line FTP to work on Windows with a PFSense Firewall

PFSense Firewall Fix For Windows FTP
With PFSense especially with version 2.2 there is a known bug that it kills Windows Command line FTP (linux and Mac OS FTP though the cmd line work fine), which is a real pain if your on a Windows platform and your trying to automate something where a typical piece of software won't cut it.   There is FTP proxy plugin, but it is in beta, and at least for me it didn't seem to work.  https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=89841.0  at least it didn't for me.  I'd also rather not open a bunch of ports and have to manage and monitor all the different ports required in the firewall. 

I needed to setup an automated process on a windows client (no choice propriety software requires windows) to FTP text files to a old IBM mainframe FTP.  To work around this issue I found a nice piece of software from IPSwitch called Move It Freely.  You install the software and I highly recommend letting the software create the environmental variable so you can call the software from anywhere in the system.  In your .bat files or VB Scripts if you call ftps instead of ftp it calls the "Move It Freely" client.  Once you are connected make sure you change your transfer type to passive as Windows CMD Line FTP (ftp.exe) defaults with active as does Move it Freely.  That is why in windows FTP you need to put the command QUOTE PASV to enable passive mode.

Documentation for move it freely can be found here. 


Here is an example of a bat file to upload a file.

ftps $HOST -user:$Username -password:$Password
cd $directory
prompt
bin
hash
passive
put $FILE
quit

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