Many people depend on exchanging files for collaboration and information sharing. If you're working with just a few people, it may be sufficient for you to send the files directly to those people in an email attachment. This is not a problem as long as the associated files and number of users are relatively small. But as demand grows, you'll need a different method to distribute downloads.
One efficient method for distributing downloads in a TCP/IP network is the File Transfer Protocol (FTP). The most secure (for FTP) configuration provides anonymous-only access and is run in a chroot jail, which keeps users on your FTP server and away from any non-FTP related directories on your system. One advantage of vsFTP is that it configures a chroot jail and anonymous access by default.
There are other excellent FTP servers. Those listed earlier in this chapter may meet your needs more closely than vsFTP. However, note that Red Hat, SUSE, and the Berkeley Standard Distribution (BSD—a cousin of the Linux operating system) use it to share their operating system distributions quickly and securely.
You can download the vsFTP server from an installation CD or network source on Red Hat/Fedora, SUSE, and Debian distributions. In each case, the package name is vsftpd, and there are slight variations between distributions. The vsFTP configuration file, vsftpd.conf, can be found in your /etc or /etc/vsftpd directory, depending on your distribution.