Connecting to secure FTP servers using Bonjour by Ben Artin

In 2005, Apple introduced Bonjour (then called Rendezvous), a new means of discovering services available on a computer network. Useful for a wide range of problems, from discovering a nearby printer to connecting to your company file server, Bonjour rapidly gained acceptance in the computer industry.

The specification for Bonjour enables discovery of file servers (such as FTP servers and SFTP servers), but does not provide any way for the server to inform other computers what type of security it uses. As a Fetch user, you might therefore be put in the annoying position of knowing that there is an FTP server on your local network, but have no idea what security setting to use to connect to it.

In response to our users’ requests, and in accordance with the specification for DNS Service Discovery Fetch 5.7 recognizes the keys auth and prot in the TXT record for an FTP server, with the following meanings:

  • auth=MECH — connect to the FTP server using security mechanism MECH. Security mechanisms understood by Fetch 5.7 and later are GSSAPI and TLS.
  • prot=LEVEL — in addition to connecting to the server securely, enable data security level LEVEL. Allowable security levels depend on the chosen security mechanism and the server implementation; Fetch supports security levels C and P for TLS and C, S, E, and P for GSSAPI.

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