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openSUSE 11.1 Reference Guide
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4.7 Configuring and Using a Small Web Server

The kpf utility provides simple file sharing using HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol), which is the same protocol used by Web sites to provide data to your Web browser. kpf is strictly a public file server, which means that there are no access restrictions to shared files. Whatever you select for sharing is available to anyone.

IMPORTANT: Security Considerations

Before setting up a file server with kpf, check with your system administrator whether your company's security policies allow this. You should never set up a file server in a corporate or private environment if you are not entirely sure that your network is protected by an outer firewall. Otherwise you might risk accidentally leaking sensitive information to the Web. In addition to that, any Web server is a potential target for hacker's exploits. Setting up a Web server in a secure way is a very hard job and kpf was not designed to act as such a Web server.

kpf is designed to be used for sharing files with friends, not to act as a fully-fledged Web server like Apache. kpf was primarily conceived as an easy way to share files with others while chatting on IRC (Internet Relay Chat, or chat rooms).

kpf is typically set up to serve files from a public_html folder in your home directory. For example, if you want to make a file available to some people with whom you are chatting online, you can use kpf to copy the file into your public_html folder and announce to those listening that your file is available at http://www.mymachine.net:8001/thefile (rather than send them each an e-mail with the file attached).

  1. Right-click the bottom panel in KDE then click Add Applet to Panel and select Public File Server.

    A new icon depicting a small globe appears on the bottom panel.

  2. Right-click the icon then click New Server.

  3. Specify the directory containing the files you want to share then click Next.

    Figure 4-14 Selecting the File Server Root Directory

    All files in the folder and its subfolders, including hidden files (files that start with a dot) and symbolic links, are made publicly available, so be careful not to share sensitive information, such as passwords, cryptographic keys, your address book, or documents private to your organization. Make sure that any symbolic links included do not point outside your published folder, because that would give others access to areas of your system that are not intended for public viewing.

  4. Complete the remainder of the New Server.

    The directory icon now appears in Konqueror with a world icon at the bottom right side.

Other parties wishing to connect to this server should just enter a URL like http://hostname:8001 into their browsers. An overview of the published content is displayed.

Figure 4-15 Published Contents

On the hosting machine, you can monitor the network traffic on your file server by right-clicking the globe icon and selecting Monitor. A short set of statistics similar to the following is given.

Figure 4-16 File Server Statistics

openSUSE 11.1 Reference Guide
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