FAQ: Ftp unable to translate

modified: 11 Nov 1999


I have received a number of queries like this:
> Could you help me please: I have got a message (more than 10 times)
> from your ftp server:
> 
> FTP Error
> 
> Could not login to FTP server
> 
> FTP service unable to translate your IP address (195.170.205.53)
> to your host name. Closing.

This happens when you attempt to connect from a site whose IP address can't be resolved to a fully qualified domain name. If you can login via another service, please try that. You should also bring this to the attention of the administrator of your internet service provider. There is no reason why domain names cannot be assigned to dynamically assigned IPs obtained by DHCP or PPP. It just requires the administrator of the system to set up a table of names that DNS can query.

If you are having this problem then other users of your service are also going to encounter the problem at other sites. It is a fairly common configuration option for anonymous ftp sites to refuse connection to clients whose IPs can't be resolved. This is usually considered to be desirable for security purposes, it makes it a little easier for the administrator of the ftp server to monitor patterns of use and prevent abuse.

That said, I am personally not convinced the extra information is all that useful, anyone smart enough to fake an IP address can probably also manage to fake the association of the address with a name. I am considering changing the configuration of Minix1 not to require this in the future. But for the time being you'll have to live with it.

Anyone who can't connect by ftp and really needs a file from my site should contact me, I'll try to find an alternate way for you to get the file. Send mail to awoodhull@hampshire.edu