2.6. AIX Installation

2.6.1. Overview

For AIX systems, SFTPPlus is distributed as a gzipped TAR archive. Installing SFTPPlus consists of unpacking the archive, initializing the configuration, and generating the SSH keys and the SSL key and certificate to be used by the product.

The included default configuration requires the creation of a system account, named sftpplus, under which the SFTPPlus process is executed.

Optionally, you may choose to start SFTPPlus as root, but the sftpplus user is still required in order to drop privileges after starting up.

To have SFTPPlus launched at boot, you may use the included SysV init script.

All steps beyond unpacking the archive can be handled by the shell script found at ./bin/ in the hierarchy of SFTPPlus files.

2.6.2. Unpacking the archive

After downloading the compressed archive, you can extract its files using the following command:

gunzip -cd xfz sftpplus-os-arch-version.tar.gz | tar -xf -

To install SFTPPlus, move (or copy/link) the unpacked directory to your preferred installation path, for example: /opt/sftpplus.

SFTPPlus may be installed in any location on the local file system. In this documentation page we assume that SFTPPlus is unpacked in the /opt/sftpplus directory (we discuss INSTALL_ROOT more later). Avoid using spaces or special characters in the SFTPPlus installation path.

2.6.3. Shell script installer

The easiest way to install SFTPPlus is to execute the shell script found at bin/ in the hierarchy of SFTPPlus files, for example:


The automated installation requires 500 MB of free space in /tmp.

After a successful installation using the shell script, jump to Listening on privileged ports to learn how to enable SFTPPlus to listen on privileged ports. This would be needed if SFTPPlus is not started with superuser privileges, which would mean it cannot bind ports below 1024.

2.6.4. Initializing the configuration

When installing SFTPPlus on a machine for the first time, you need to generate the initial configuration file and machine-specific SSH keys. A self-signed SSL certificate will also be generated to help with the initial FTPS and HTTPS testing.

To initialize a fresh SFTPPlus installation, execute the following command (where $ADMIN should be replaced with your favourite administrative username and $PASS with a password to be used for the SFTPPlus $ADMIN user):

cd /opt/sftpplus
./bin/ initialize --init-admin $ADMIN --init-password $PASS

Default configuration allows external connections to the management web page. Therefore, use a secure password to protect the management web page.


If you don't want to allow external connections to the Local Manager web-based console, append the --local-admin-access command line argument to the initialization command above:

./bin/ initialize \
    --local-admin-access \
    --init-admin $ADMIN \
    --init-password $PASS

The initialization step is not required when upgrading SFTPPlus. It will not overwrite the configuration file, SSH keys, and SSL keys and certificates, if existing. In the case that you want to generate a new configuration, manually remove the existing files first.

2.6.5. Configuring the SFTPPlus process user and group

For improved security, SFTPPlus is started by default under a regular account. This requires a dedicated operating system account to be created.

In the following examples, we use the default configuration value of sftpplus for the name of the user to run SFTPPlus.

To create an sftpplus group and user on AIX:

mkgroup sftpplus
mkuser sftpplus
usermod -g sftpplus -d /opt/sftpplus -s /bin/sh -c "SFTPPlus" sftpplus

You need to adjust the ownership of the files to match the newly created OS user:

cd /opt && chown -R root:adm sftpplus
cd /opt/sftpplus && chown -R sftpplus:sftpplus configuration log run

At the very least, SFTPPlus needs read access to all the files under /opt/sftpplus, but in a typical installation it also requires write permission to the log/ subdirectory (for logging) and the configuration/ subdirectory (for saving changes to the running configuration). If running at all times under an unprivileged account, write permissions to the run/ sub-directory holding the PID file are needed as well.

2.6.6. Init system configuration for AIX

For SysV-compatible operating systems such as AIX, a sample init script is provided.

Make sure the script is executable, then amend the INSTALL_ROOT variable to the installation path of your SFTPPlus instance.

Copy the modified script to the standard location used by the initialization system of your distribution:

cd /opt/sftpplus
vi bin/
chmod +x bin/
cp bin/ /etc/rc.d/init.d/sftpplus-mft

Then you can call the script directly as:

/etc/rc.d/init.d/sftpplus-mft COMMAND

The following COMMANDs are available:

  • start

  • stop

  • restart

  • status

  • debug (start without detaching from current console)

  • force-stop

To start SFTPPlus automatically on boot:

ln -s /etc/rc.d/init.d/sftpplus-mft /etc/rc.d/rc2.d/S99sftpplus-mft

2.6.7. Listening on privileged ports

When running SFTPPlus as a regular user, it's not possible to bind privileged ports in the range 0-1024.

One generic method which works on any Unix-like system is to set up SFTPPlus to listen only on ports above 1024, then set up port-forwarding in your firewall configuration.

2.6.8. First Steps

After starting SFTPPlus, the Local Manager is a good way to visualize the current configuration that is available, and is even configurable itself.

We highly recommend going through the Getting Started on Windows guide or Getting Started on Linux guide first as it contains additional tips for new SFTPPlus installations.

There is also an FAQ section if you have an idea, but are in search of answers.

If you want to skip ahead, the Configuration Instructions or the Usage Instructions will contain detailed information to configure and operate SFTPPlus.