“The Little Woman” has an office with a powerful multi-function printer. It was rather trivial last year to get it printing with Debian GNU/Linux. I just had to add a printer driver from the manufacturer, Xerox. The thing scans, too, and I had never used such a gadget but she asked hubby to make that work as well. In that other OS, Xerox had an app for that…
Poking around the control panel of the multi-function printer, I found it could do FTP of the scans. Simple, I added an ftp service to her GNU/Linux PC:
apt-get install vsftpd
That was pretty easy, but the default configuration did not allow uploads, which I needed. I created an upload directory and gave her permission to read/write to it:
usermod -a -G ftp littlewoman
chown ftp:ftp /home/ftp /home/ftp/pub
chmod 550 /home/ftp
chmod 770 /home/ftp/pub
ln -s /home/ftp/pub/ /home/littlewoman/scans
Then I had to modify the configuration in vsftpd.conf and restart (/etc/init.d/vsftpd restart) it to permit anonymous uploads:
# Allow anonymous FTP? (Beware - allowed by default if you comment this out).
# Uncomment this to allow local users to log in.
# Uncomment this to enable any form of FTP write command.
# Default umask for local users is 077. You may wish to change this to 022,
# if your users expect that (022 is used by most other ftpd's)
# Uncomment this to allow the anonymous FTP user to upload files. This only has an effect if the above global write enable is activated. Also, you will obviously need to create a directory writable by the FTP user.
# Uncomment this if you want the anonymous FTP user to be able to create new directories.
I just added the IP address and name of her computer to the menu on the multi-function printer and voila!, she was scanning. The benefit of these tweaks were compounded less than 24 h later when I added an ftp client to her Android/Linux smart phone so she could transfer her mobile pix to her PC with a few taps. I used the andFTP client from Android Market. Pretty smooth for a free app. I could add encrypted access, chroot or a virtual machine…, but I am not paranoid. 😉
Hero? Maybe not, but in my own mind I am still useful…