FTP access to an ESXi datastore

Or how to get your stuff off an ESXi ‘free edition’ box.

FTP server

There are many ways to get at your datastores on an ESXi box.
The web interface. You could enable support mode and scp files around. Or you could even use the datastore browser in the vsphere client.

I however was looking for a way to move these large data files onto another linux storage server.
In my case, the web ui and scp were extremely slow. At their current rate, it was going to take days to copy all my stuff off.

That’s when I came across Dave’s article on how to enable a FTP server on an ESXi box. Again using static binaries. Lovely.

I condensed the process in to a shell script. Just download this archive.
Unzip and run the install.sh script in the recovery console.

This will copy the files into the correct locations, change their permissions and add them to the inetd.conf file.
Remember; with ESXi, these changes only persist until the next reboot.
Any user account in ESXi will be able to login via FTP.

Its FTP folks. Don’t try this on an untrusted network.
Your info is going across the wire in plain text.
…its going so fast… Should be done by tomorrow.

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