Is it the Do you pay attention to which protocol is being used when you are downloading data? In the past the most popular protocol for file transmission was the FTP, i.e File Transfer Protocol. Therefore, Linux distributors have maintained FTP servers for decades. Recently, administrators responsible for Debian distribution have announced that they will disable their FTP servers and switch to HTTP service. Why such a decision?

FTP is not encrypted in any way, so I can not imagine using it for anything other than anonymous download. Any login attempt can be captured and the password when being logged in to the FTP account is sent explicitly. We also have SFTP, which adds SSH encryption, but this solution is not very popular. Also, FTP servers have performance problems with many users.

Debian will disable its FTP servers on 1st November this year.

This applies to servers available at and However, the same domains will continue to run after 1st November, because DNS servers will redirect traffic to HTTP mirrors, namely: and Regarding the reasons for change, the administrators mentioned:

  • FTP servers do not support download acceleration and caching mechanisms,
  • Most of the software is outdated and requires some weird configuration,
  • The amount of Debian FTP servers users is very low, even distribution installers prefer mirrors,
  • FTP itself is inefficient and requires painstaking configurations of firewalls and services responsible for load balancing.

The truth is that the people who developed the FTP protocol did not know which way the Internet would go. No wonder, the current version of this protocol was developed more than 30 years ago. All this is described in a fairly recent but still current RFC 959 document.

The best way of downloading Linux distributions is the Torrent network.

Many people think that this statement is so-called urban legend. But the truth is that the Torrent protocol is able to squeeze the last juice from every Internet connection. Here we have no problems with overloaded servers because the files are sent by individual users’ computers. Due to the fact that data transmission takes place using multiple data streams, no link is heavily loaded. The whole load is spread out over thousands of computers.

Source: Debian

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