Trivial File Transfer Protocol

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(Redirected from TFTP)

Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) is a very simple file transfer protocol akin to a basic version of FTP. TFTP is often used to transfer small files between hosts on a network, such as when a remote X Window System terminal or any other thin client boots from a network host or server.

Some details of TFTP:

  • Uses UDP (port 69) as its transport protocol (unlike FTP which uses TCP port 21).
  • It cannot list directory contents
  • No authentication or encryption mechanisms
  • Used to read files from/write files to a remote server
  • Supports three different transfer modes, "netascii", "octet" and "mail", with the first two corresponding to the "ascii" and "image" (binary) modes of the FTP protocol.

Details of a TFTP session

Since TFTP utilizes UDP, it has to create its own transport and session support. Each file transferred via TFTP constitutes an independent exchange of packets, performed in lock-step. Due to the lack of windowing, TFTP performs poorly over high latency links, and due to the lack of security, TFTP is dangerous over the open Internet. Thus, TFTP is generally only used on private, local networks.

  • The initiating host A sends an RRQ (read request) or WRQ (write request) packet to host B, containing the filename and transfer mode.
  • B replies with an ACK (acknowledgement) packet, which also serves to inform A of which port on host B the remaining packets should be sent to.
  • The source host sends numbered DATA packets to the destination host, all but the last containing 512 bytes of data. The destination host replies with numbered ACK packets for all DATA packets.
  • The final DATA packet must contain less than 512 bytes of data to signal that it is the last. If the size of the transferred file is an exact multiple of 512 bytes, the source sends a final DATA packet containing 0 bytes of data.

Options negotiation (RFC 2347) and the options thus negotiated can modify this procedure slightly, but the general points remain the same.

See also

External links

ja:Trivial File Transfer Protocol pl:TFTP

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