TFTP, or Trivial File Transfer Protocol is a simple protocol to transfer files that can be implemented by using a very small amount of memory. It is basically involved in booting computers that do not have any data storage devices. Apart from that, it is used to transfer small amounts of data between hosts on a network or any other thin client boots from a network host or server. An example of firmware upgrades or network booting through TFTP is PXE booting. Trivial File Transfer Protocol is often considered a slimmed down or a very basic version of version of File Transfer Protocol or FTP.

How to Set up a Linux TFTP server

A Linux server makes an ideal platform where a TFTP server can be run, because of the former’s modest hardware requirements and stability. To set up a Linux TFTP server, you can go through the following instructions.

Step 1: Before going ahead with the steps, there are some requirements that you need to take care of, which require needing to run Linux computer and a TFTP server software package. In the following steps, the installation and configuration procedure would be performed within a terminal window via the command line interface. Apart from this, the article assumes that the Linux computer that you have is a Red Hat, or a related machine like CentOS or Fedora that has a properly configured Yum repository. And if you have a different Linux distribution installed, the only little difference would be either in how you have obtained the TFTP server software package or how you install it.

Now you need to run a Yum command from your terminal session for installing the TFTP server software, which is as follows (without the inverted commas):

‘yum install tftp-server-y’

Step 2: The tftp server package installs the tftpd service; this service is disabled by default. For enabling the service, you need to run the following command (without the commas):

‘chkconfig tftp on’

In addition to this, the tftp server package installs itself as a child service under xinetd; therefore, look in /etc/xinetd/tftp for configuring any advanced options.

Step 3: To serve up files, tftp uses the /tftp boot/ directory by default. World read and execute permissions are required by this directory. It should be pre installed with these instructions; however you need to run the following command just to be sure:

chmod o+rx /tftpboot

Step 4: Now you need to start up the xinetd service to run tftpd, which is as follows:

service xinetd start

If you want to have tftpd start at bootup, you need to make sure that xinetd has been configured to start at bootup:

chkconfig xinetd on

Step 5: Make sure that you have a running tftp server at this point so that you can upgrade your network device firmware or PXE boot your diskless workstations.

Thus, although setting up a Linux tftp server isn’t an easy task, it can be made relatively simpler with the above step by step instructions.