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Old 8th May 2008
bigb89 bigb89 is offline
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Default Runing vsftpd in standalone mode or with inetd?


I just installed vsftpd and I saw that I have the options of running it in standalone mode or with inetd. I heard that inetd is not very secure and that's why I'm running vsftpd in standalone mode. So my question is: Which is more secure, running vsftpd in standalone mode or with inetd?
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Old 8th May 2008
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robbak robbak is offline
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Probably via inetd, but the diference is minimal.

inetd (the internet daemon) is a single daemon that listens on multiple ports, and spawns processes to deal with connections that occur.
As inetd can end up running programs that you are unaware of, it is a source of security holes if you are not aware of what it is doing. inetd also handles on it's own several simple (and now largely unused) services, which could be security problems if there are unknown holes in it's decades-old code. That said, it can also be configured to run things like tcpwrappers which are good things that increase system security.

There is very little difference, security wise, to running a daemon standalone, and adding that daemon to an already running inetd. There are, however, performance and speed issues: inetd only spawns the process when it is needed, so the process does not consume resources when no one is using it. However, there is an overhead on each connection as inetd spawns a new process to handle it.
Generally, a heavily used service will be run standalone. An infrequently used service might be left on inetd's hands.
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Old 8th May 2008
bigb89 bigb89 is offline
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Thanks for the response.

I guess I'll keep on running vsftpd in standalone mode, since I can probably open other security wholes by using inetd.
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