GT 5.0.5 Release Notes: GridFTP

1. Component Overview

GridFTP is a high-performance, secure, reliable data transfer protocol optimized for high-bandwidth wide-area networks. The GridFTP protocol is based on FTP, the highly-popular Internet file transfer protocol. We have selected a set of protocol features and extensions defined already in IETF RFCs and added a few additional features to meet requirements from current data grid projects.

2. Feature Summary

Features new in GT 5.0.5:

  • New support for default disk and network stacks:

    globus-gridftp-server options -dc-default and -fs-default.

Features that continue to be supported from previous versions

  • Data channel security context (DCSC) command
  • Chrooting GridFTP server
  • Synchronize datasets
  • Improved failure restart capability in globus-url-copy
  • Stall detection
  • Client-side host aliasing
  • GridFTP over UDT
  • SSH security for GridFTP control channel
  • Running the GridFTP server with GFork GridFTP
  • Multicasting / Network overlays (EXPERIMENTAL)
  • Netlogger's bottleneck detection for GridFTP transfers
  • GSI security: This is the PKI based, de facto standard security system used in Grid applications. Kerberos is also possible but is not supported and can be difficult to use due to divergence in the capabilities of GSI and Kerberos.
  • Third-party transfers: Very common in Grid applications, this is where a client mediates a transfer between two servers (both likely at remote sites) rather than between the server and itself (called a client/server transfer).
  • Cluster-to-cluster data movement or Striping: GridFTP can do coordinated data transfer by using multiple computer nodes at the source and destination.
  • Partial file access: Regions of a file may be accessed by specifying an offset into the file and the length of the block desired.
  • Reliability/restart: The receiving server periodically (the default is 5 seconds, but this can be changed) sends “restart markers” to the client. This marker is a messages specifying what bytes have been successfully written to the disk. If the transfer fails, the client may restart the transfer and provide these markers (or an aggregated equivalent marker), and the transfer will pick up where it left off. This can include “holes” in the file.
  • Large file support: All file sizes, lengths, and offsets are 64 bits in length.
  • Data channel reuse: Data channel can be held open and reused if the next transfer has the same source, destination, and credentials. This saves the time of connection establishment, authentication, and delegation. This can be a huge performance difference when moving lots of small files.
  • Integrated instrumentation (Performance Markers).
  • Logging/audit trail (Extensive Logging in the server).
  • Parallel transfers (Multiple TCP streams between a pair of hosts).
  • TCP Buffer size control (Protocol supports Manual and Automatic; Only Manual Implemented).
  • Server-side computation (Extended Retrieve (ERET) / Extended Store (ESTO) commands).
  • Based on Standards: RFC 959, RFC 2228, RFC 2389, IETF Draft MLST-16 , GGF GFD.020.

Other Supported Features

  • On the client side we provide a scriptable tool called globus-url-copy. This tool can take advantage of all the GridFTP protocol features and can also do protocol translation between FTP, HTTP, HTTPS, and POSIX file IO on the client machine.
  • We also provide a set of development libraries and APIs for developers wishing to add GridFTP functionality to their application.

Deprecated Features

  • None

3. Summary of Changes in GridFTP

3.1. New Features: GridFTP

3.2. Improvements: GridFTP

4. Fixed Bugs for GridFTP

  • GRIDFTP-166: globus-url-copy fails restart when a post-completion stall occurs (was: globus-url-copy seg faults)
  • GRIDFTP-182: site rdel doesn't seem to work for ~/path syntax
  • GRIDFTP-216: Possible bug in continue-on-error option in GUC
  • GRIDFTP-196: fix behaviour for syntax errors in server options
  • GRIDFTP-148: globus-url-copy and other globus_ftp_control users do not support new identity processing
  • GRIDFTP-170: Typos in help messages
  • GRIDFTP-177: SITE RDEL crashes if permissions won't allow delete
  • GRIDFTP-181: newer GridFTP Server MLSD on file issue
  • GRIDFTP-185: IPv6 compatiblity verification
  • GRIDFTP-194: path-restriction: symlinks names that are denied show up of the target is allowed
  • GRIDFTP-200: GUC sync from gsi <-> anon ftp fails
  • GRIDFTP-203: globus-url-copy -create-dest flag does not work when the input is from stdin
  • GRIDFTP-213: globus-url-copy -create-dest results in an attempted dir creation for every file
  • GRIDFTP-214: gridftp server doesn't verify that ~ is valid unless path-restrictions are used
  • GRIDFTP-217: -connections-disabled option has no effect when running under inetd
  • GRIDFTP-218: add cygwin fork failure workaround
  • GRIDFTP-220: globus-url-copy -create-dest may unnecessarily attempt mkdir for every file
  • GRIDFTP-222: race condition in in directory streaming for both mlsd and mlsc
  • GRIDFTP-223: GridFTP server does not return error if the function close return the erro "Disk quota exceeded"

5. Known Problems in GridFTP


6. Technology dependencies

GridFTP depends on the following GT components:

  • Non-WS (General) Authentication & Authorization
  • C Common Libraries
  • XIO

GridFTP depends on the following 3rd party software:

  • OpenSSL (version is included in release)

7. Tested platforms

Tested platforms for GridFTP

  • i386 Linux
  • ia64 Linux (TeraGrid)
  • AIX 5.2
  • Solaris 9
  • PA-RISC HP/UX 11.11
  • ia64 HP/UX 11.22
  • Tru64 Unix
  • Mac OS X

While the above list includes platforms on which we have tested GridFTP, it does not imply support for a specific platform. However, we are interested in hearing reports of success or bug reports on any platform.

8. Backward compatibility summary

Protocol changes since GT 5.0.4

  • None

API changes since GT 5.0.4

  • None

Exception changes since GT 5.0.4

  • Not Applicable (GridFTP is not Java-based)

Schema changes since GT 5.0.4

  • Not Applicable (GridFTP is not SOAP-based)

9. Associated Standards

Associated standards for GridFTP:

10. For More Information

See GridFTP for more information about this component.




A process that sends commands and receives responses. Note that in GridFTP, the client may or may not take part in the actual movement of data.