Linkd to the Rescue
Here's a nifty Resource Kit tool that solves a reader's FTP server space problem.
I'm about out of space on my Windows 2003 FTP
server. I created a folder on another hard disk on the server and planned
to use it to store additional files. I thought that I could just create
a folder shortcut from my existing FTP root folder and that would allow
users to see the new folder and files. When I connected to the server
using a command line FTP session, the shortcut appears as a .lnk file.
So I can't see or connect to the new folder. I really don't want to create
another FTP site for the new folder and want everything to stay under
a single FTP root. What else can I do?
While folder shortcuts work great in Windows Explorer, as
you've found, FTP clients cannot follow them. Keeping your FTP directory
contained within a single drive or RAID set is always ideal. However,
if resources are limited and you need to expand a folder structure to
traverse subfolders of other drives, then creating junction points is
a good alternative.
To keep it simple, a junction point is an empty folder on
a system's local drive that transparently links to another storage location
(drive or folder) on the same system. With a junction point, you can link
an empty folder in your FTP server's root directory to another folder
on your server's G drive, for example. Junction points cannot link to
resources on another system, such as shared folders. The only way around
this is to employ a storage networking protocol such as iSCSI.
To create a junction point you can use linkd, which is a
tool included in the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools. Here is the
general syntax for Linkd:
linkd <source folder> <target
The <source folder> parameter is the path to the folder that links
to another folder. The <target folder> parameter specifies the link
destination of the source folder.
Once you download and install the resource kit tools on your server,
follow these steps to create a junction point that links an FTP root subfolder
to the new storage location:
- Open Windows Explorer, navigate to the FTP root folder and create
a new subfolder within the root folder. If you are unsure of which folder
is the FTP root folder, open IIS Manager, expand FTP sites, right-click
on the Default FTP Site, and select Properties. Then click the Home
Directory tab and you will see the FTP root directory listed in the
Local Path field.
- When the Windows Resource Kit Tools are installed, the system path
is updated so that each tool can be executed from anywhere in the command
prompt. If you just installed the Resource Kit Tools and have yet to
reboot the server, then you need to run the tool from the Resource Kit
Tools installation folder. To be safe, let's assume that the server
has not been rebooted. So, open the Command Prompt and navigate to the
Resource Kit Tools installation folder (by default, this is "C:\Program
Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools").
- Now, you can run the linkd command to create the junction point.
Let's assume that your FTP server was deployed with the default settings
(root directory = C:\intetpub\ftproot), that you created an ftproot
subfolder named "morestuff" and that wish to link the folder
to the G:\software folder. To create the junction point, just run the
linkd c:\inetpub\ftproot\morestuff G:\software
With the junction point created, when FTP users connect to your server,
they will see a folder named "morestuff." If they navigate to
the "morestuff" folder, they will then see the contents of the
G:\software software (although from their view it looks as though they
are viewing the "morestuff" folder's contents). Note that you
may need to adjust the permissions of the G:\software folder so that FTP
users can access files within that directory.
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Junction points are helpful, and can get you out of binds such as the
one that Alex is in. However, you do need to be careful. Folder permissions
do not follow junction points, so any permissions set at the FTP root
folder level or at the junction source folder do not propagate to the
junction point target folder and its contents.
Although junction points do create additional administrative concerns
such as permissions management, they are a valuable resource when trying
to maintain a single folder hierarchy for system files and folders.