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Redirecting FTP Requests to Directories or Network Shares

Updated: August 22, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008

You can redirect requests for files in one directory to a different directory or to a network share. When an FTP client requests the file from the original URL, the FTP server instructs the client to request the file from the redirected resource. Redirection is useful when users have grown accustomed to using a particular URL to access certain files.

You must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer to perform the following procedure or procedures. As a security best practice, log on to your computer by using an account that is not in the Administrators group, and then use the runas command to run IIS Manager as an administrator. At a command prompt, type runas /User:Administrative_AccountName "mmc %systemroot%\system32\inetsrv\iis.msc".


To redirect requests to another directory or network share

  1. In IIS Manager, expand the FTP Sites folder, right-click the FTP site or directory within an FTP site to which you want to add a redirect, and click Properties.

  2. Click the Home Directory, Virtual Directory, or Directory tab.

  3. Under The content for this resource should come from, click the location from which the files should be served.

  4. In the Local path box, type or browse to the path from which you want the files served.

  5. Click OK.

Making an FTP virtual directory visible to users

You can configure your FTP site so that a user browsing the site sees a directory entry for a virtual directory. While the directory entry the user sees is a physical directory, when the user navigates into the physical directory, the contents listed are actually of a virtual directory you have specified. This is possible because IIS lists virtual paths before listing physical paths. This makes it appear to the user that they are seeing the contents of a physical directory, when in fact they are seeing the content in a virtual directory.

To make an FTP virtual directory visible to users

  1. Create a physical directory in the user's home FTP directory. For example, if your FTP site is configured for user isolation, the user's home directory will either be LocalUser\Public (for anonymous users), or LocalUser\username (for authenticated users).

  2. In IIS Manager, expand the local computer, expand the FTP Sites folder, expand the FTP site to which you want to add a virtual directory, right-click the site or folder within which you wish to create the virtual directory, point to New, and then click Virtual Directory.

  3. Click Next.

  4. In the Alias box, type the name for the virtual directory and click Next.

    The alias must exactly match the name of the directory you created in step 1.

  5. In the Directory box, type the path to, or browse to the physical directory where the content for this virtual directory resides, and click Next.

  6. Under Allow the following permissions, select the check boxes next to the access permissions appropriate to your needs, and click Next.

  7. Click Finish. The virtual directory is created within the FTP site.

    When a user browses the FTP site, the physical directory you created in step 1 is displayed in the folder listing. When the user then navigates to the physical directory, however, the content of the redirected virtual directory is actually displayed

You can also use this procedure with nested virtual directories.

Related Information

  • For information about how to set up a user's home FTP directory using user isolation, see Isolating FTP Users.

  • For information about installing the FTP service, see FTP Site Setup.

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