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Home > Success Center > Serv-U Managed File Transfer & Serv-U FTP Server > Serv-U File Server Administrator Guide > Get started > Quick start guide

Quick start guide

Created by Anthony.Rinaldi, last modified by Anthony.Rinaldi on Jul 20, 2016

Views: 26 Votes: 0 Revisions: 2

Install Serv-U File Server

If you are installing Serv-U for the first time, follow the instructions on the installation screens to choose the installation directory and to configure desktop shortcuts for quickly accessing the server.

Serv-U supports installation in English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Serbian, Swedish, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese. At this point you are selecting only the default language for the Management Console. When users connect to Serv-U, they can select any language from the list of supported languages.

If you install Serv-U as a system service, Serv-U is automatically started when the server is started, before any user logs on to the system. This is useful if Serv-U is run on a dedicated server that does not regularly have an interactive user session logged in to it. If Serv-U is not installed as a system service, it has to be manually started after logging in to the server.

When the installation completes, the Serv-U Management Console is started. If you chose not to have the Serv-U Management Console started after installation, you can launch it by double-clicking the Serv-U icon in the system tray, or by right-clicking the Serv-U icon and selecting Start Management Console.

Upgrade Serv-U

Before upgrading, create a backup of the original installation folder, your database, and your configuration data.

Operating system Location of configuration files

Windows Vista

Windows 7

Windows 8

Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2012

C:\ProgramData\RhinoSoft\Serv-U

The location is hidden by default.

Windows XP

Windows Server 2003

C:\Program Files\RhinoSoft\Serv-U

Linux /usr/local/Serv-U

If you experience issues with the Serv-U Management Console after upgrading, clear your browser cache.

Create domains

When the Serv-U Management Console finishes loading, you are prompted to create a new domain if no domains exist.

Serv-U domains are collections of users and groups that share common settings, such as transfer rate limitations, service listeners, and directory access rules. In most cases, all of your users and settings will exist in the same domain, and there is no need to create separate domains.

Having users sharing the same domain does not mean that all users have access to the same files. Each user in Serv-U has unique permissions to the directories you define, and does not have access to any files or folders unless you explicitly grant them access.

Click Yes to start the domain creation wizard. You can run this wizard any time by clicking + (New Domain) at the top of the Serv-U Management Console.

  1. Click + (New Domain).
  2. Type a unique name and an optional description for the new domain.

    The domain name is not visible to any of its users, and it does not affect the way the domain is accessed. The name makes the identification and management of the domain easier for administrators. The name must be unique.

  3. To make the domain temporarily unavailable to users while you are configuring it, clear the Enable domain check box, and click Next.
  4. Select File Transfer Domain, File Sharing Domain, or both, and click Next.
    • If you are setting up a File Transfer Domain only, perform the following steps:
      1. On the Protocols page, select the protocols and port numbers the domain should use to provide access to its users, and click Next.

        The standard file sharing protocol is FTP, which operates on the default port 21. However, you can change any of the available ports to a custom value. To run the server on a non-default port, SolarWinds recommends you use a port above 1024.

      2. On the IP Listeners page, specify the IP address that is used to connect to this domain, and click Next.

        If you do not specify an address, Serv-U uses any available IP address on the computer.

      3. On the Encryption page, select the encryption mode to use when storing passwords on the domain.
      4. To enable users to recover their passwords, select the appropriate option.
      5. Click Finish to create the domain.
    • If you are setting up a File Sharing Domain only, perform the following steps:
      1. On the File Sharing page, specify the domain URL, the file sharing repository, and whether to use a secure URL.
      2. Click Configure SMTP to set up an SMTP server, which is necessary for sending email notifications and for events that use email actions.
      3. Click Next.
      4. On the IP Listeners page, specify the IP address that is used to connect to this domain.

        If you do not specify an address, Serv-U uses any available IP address on the computer.

      5. Click Finish to create the domain.
    • If you are setting up a File Transer and File Sharing Domain, perform the following steps:
      1. On the File Sharing page, specify the domain URL, the file sharing repository, and whether you want to use a secure URL.
      2. Click Configure SMTP to set up an SMTP server, which is necessary for sending email notifications and for events that use email actions.
      3. Click Next.
      4. On the Protocols page, select the protocols and port numbers the domain should use to provide access to its users, and click Next.

        The standard file sharing protocol is FTP, which operates on the default port 21. However, you can change any of the available ports to a custom value. To run the server on a non-default port, SolarWinds recommends you use a port above 1024.

      5. On the IP Listeners screen, specify the IP address that is used to connect to this domain, and click Next.

        If you do not specify an address, Serv-U uses any available IP address on the computer.

      6. On the Encryption screen, select the encryption mode to use when storing passwords on the domain.
      7. To enable users to recover their passwords, select the appropriate option.
      8. Click Finish to create the domain.

Create user accounts

After your first domain is created, you are taken to the user's page of the Serv-U Management Console. Click Yes to start the User Wizard and create a new user account.

You can run this wizard at any time by navigating to the Users menu under Global or Domain, and then clicking Wizard on the Users page.

First, provide a login ID for the account. The login ID must be unique for the domain. Other domains on your server can have an account with the same login ID.

To create an anonymous account, specify anonymous or ftp as the login ID.

You can also specify a name and email address for the user account. The email address is used by Serv-U to send email notifications and recovered passwords to the user account. Click Next to continue.

After specifying a unique login ID, you must also specify a password for the account. You can leave this field blank, but that allows anyone who knows the login ID to access your domain. Click Next to continue.

The third step is to specify a home directory for the account. The home directory is the location on the hard drive of the server, or on an accessible network resource that the user account is placed in after a successful login. It is the location you want the user account to use when sending and receiving files on the server. Type the location or click Browse to select a location on the hard drive. If users are locked in their home directory, they cannot access files or folders above the directory structure of their home directory. Additionally, the actual location of their home directory is masked and displayed as "/". Click Next to proceed to the last step.

The last step is to grant access rights to the user account. Access rights are granted on a per-directory basis. However, access rights can be inherited by all subdirectories contained in an accessible directory. The default access is Read Only, which means that the user can list files and folders in their home directory and can download them. However, they cannot upload files, create new directories, delete files or folders, or rename files or folders. If Full Access is selected, the user can do all of these things. After the user is created, you can configure the access rights in more detail by editing the user, and selecting the Directory Access page.

After selecting the directory access rights, click Finish to create the user account.

Serv-U File Server is now accessible and ready for sharing. You can create more accounts just like this one to share with friends, family, or colleagues. Each user can have a different home directory. This way you can share different files with different people.

Share files

Domain users can send or receive files from guests. To send file sharing invitation emails, configure your SMTP settings. This configuration only needs to be set once for the entire server or a domain.

File sharing is disabled by default.

Use URL parameters

Enhance the login process by using URL parameters to create special login links. By using the special login links, users can automatically send their login ID and password, start audio files immediately, and more. To specify URL parameters, use the syntax in the following example:

www.example.com/?user=admin&password=test

The following parameters are supported in Serv-U:

user=username&password=password

Allows the login ID and password to be sent automatically to Serv-U, bypassing the need to log in. This can be convenient for audio or video, but should not be used for confidential or protected information.

thumbnail=1

Starts the Web Client in thumbnail mode, showing thumbnails of images.

slideshow=1

Starts the Web Client in slideshow mode, showing a slideshow of all images.

playlist=1

Starts the Web Client in media mode, playing audio or video files in order.

playmedia=1

Starts the Web Client in media mode, playing video files only.

dir=directory_name

Specifies which directory to browse to immediately after login.

file=file_name

Specifies a file to download immediately after login. By default, the Web Client attempts to download the file from the home directory. If the dir parameter is used with the file parameter, the Web Client attempts to download the specified file from the specified folder.

sortcol=column

Specifies the column by which to sort the files in the Web Client. The column accepts the following integer values:

  • 1 = sort by name
  • 2 = sort by size
  • 3 = sort by time
Last modified
10:18, 20 Jul 2016

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