I have an embedded VxWorks target that needs to boot its kernel from my Ubuntu computer. How do I install and run a TFTP server?

3 Answers 3


TFTP Server Install and Setup

  1. Install following packages.

    sudo apt-get install xinetd tftpd tftp
  2. Create /etc/xinetd.d/tftp and put this entry

    service tftp
    protocol        = udp
    port            = 69
    socket_type     = dgram
    wait            = yes
    user            = nobody
    server          = /usr/sbin/in.tftpd
    server_args     = /tftpboot
    disable         = no
  3. Create a folder /tftpboot this should match whatever you gave in server_args. mostly it will be tftpboot

    sudo mkdir /tftpboot
    sudo chmod -R 777 /tftpboot
    sudo chown -R nobody /tftpboot
  4. Restart the xinetd service.

    newer systems:

    sudo service xinetd restart

    older systems:

    sudo /etc/init.d/xinetd restart

Now our tftp server is up and running.

Testing our tftp server

  1. Create a file named test with some content in /tftpboot path of the tftp server

    Obtain the ip address of the tftp server using ifconfig command

  2. Now in some other system follow the following steps.

    tftp> get test
    Sent 159 bytes in 0.0 seconds
    tftp> quit
    cat test

Source: http://mohammadthalif.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/installing-and-testing-tftpd-in-ubuntudebian/

  • 1
    only step 4 needs to be changed, since xinetd is spawned by upstart. you need to restart it with 'service xinetd restart' Sep 4, 2013 at 12:14
  • 3
    I followed this instruction and faced permission denied! Destination filename [c2950-i6q4l2-mz.121-22.EA1b.bin]? TFTP: error code 2 received - Access violation %Error opening tftp:// (Permission denied) #copy flash:c2950-i6q4l2-mz.121-22.EA1b.bin tftp: Address or name of remote host []? Destination filename [c2950-i6q4l2-mz.121-22.EA1b.bin]? TFTP: error code 2 received - Access violation Apr 8, 2014 at 6:30
  • 1
    @Mohammad Rafiee: the blog post linked to here added some info: run sudo chmod -R 777 /tftpboot between step 1 and 2 of "Testing our tftp server". Not that it helped me, but it looks like it helped others.
    – Gauthier
    Aug 28, 2014 at 11:43
  • 2
    On 14.04, this did not work for me. The info about /tftpboot in /etc/xinetd.d/tftp did not seem to matter. Instead, the client looks in the directory /srv/tftp as specified in /etc/inetd.conf. I don't if the way things are setup changed since the article, or if I screwed up somehow. If the answer above does not work for you, try putting your test file in /srv/tftp instead.
    – Gauthier
    Aug 28, 2014 at 12:28
  • 2
    Please note that with Ubuntu 16.04, you will experience error code 2 (access violation) . To fix it put tftpboot -s in server_args (no leading slash, -s at the end. Source: icesquare.com/wordpress/…
    – CharlesB
    Aug 31, 2018 at 13:13

You can install atftpd and it will create a directory called /tftpboot in which you may place your files. Put especially the pxelinux.0 file there. Any future configuration will be addressed if it is necessary.

When you install the package with

sudo apt-get install atftpd

it will use Debconf to prompt you for some choices. You can set many choices(server timeout may be useful), especially the basepath. You can also adjust the multicast range.

  • What is pxelinux.0 for? I'm booting a VxWorks target, so I thought that I only need the file vxworks in /tftpboot. Oct 15, 2012 at 21:11
  • Sorry - that did not work for me. Oct 18, 2012 at 16:59
  • Try renaming vxworks to pxelinux.0, just to see whether my answer will work for future users.
    – nanofarad
    Oct 18, 2012 at 20:40
  • this doesnt work for 13.04. I just tried Sep 3, 2013 at 8:55
  • @BЈовић This is somewhat of an old answer and I honestly do not know the procedure for 13.04.
    – nanofarad
    Sep 4, 2013 at 11:02

You can install tftpd-hpa and change the configurations . Steps for installing tftpd-hpa is explained in this blog post.

  • 2
    Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – guntbert
    Sep 6, 2013 at 7:02
  • 1
    upvoted you only because tftpd-hpa is a stupid simple tftp server to use and doesn't actually require any of the config needed in that post just drop your files in /var/lib/tftpboot and you are set (on ubuntu 16.04 not sure about other OS). Jan 3, 2017 at 4:25

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